NUT Supply Teachers’ Charter:
The following is the latest bulletin (September 13th 2017) from Richard Knights, secretary of the NUT supply teachers’ network
1) Lobby of the Welsh Assembly
Fair Deal for Supply Teachers are organising a lobby of the Welsh Assembly on Monday October 23rd starting at 12.00 mid-day. Please support this lobby, supply agency pay in Wales is the worst in the UK.
We are asking Welsh Assembly members to initiate a debate on the issue of supply teaching during that week, so the date may change, I’ll keep everyone posted.
Freedom of Information requests to the 22 Welsh Councils have revealed that in some ares of North Wales – Angelsey and Gwynedd – all supply work is still going through the local councils or schools. In South Wales supply is dominated by agencies like New Directions paying £90 – £95 a day. The numbers of supply teachers in Wales has fallen from 4,794 teachers in December 2014, to 4,253 in July 2016.
The Welsh Government set up a Taskforce that was ‘unable’ to recommend an alternative to agencies. No surprise there when three were from management backgrounds, with one token TUC rep.
Fair Deal for Supply Teachers is calling for a central register of Welsh supply teachers and regional systems based on the Northern Ireland model that will restore pay and pensions.
Background details here. https://www.facebook.com/FairDealForSupplyTeachers/posts/1615778155112570
2) Academy Trusts
In Suffolk the NUT has negotiated a deal with an Academy Trust for a pool of supply teachers on the rate and with access to TPS. More details here. https://www.facebook.com/FairDealForSupplyTeachers/posts/1577321825624870
Helena Tendall from Leicestershire received a reply from the Education Minister Nick Gibb that stated, ‘We are currently putting in place new commercial arrangements with the aim of helping schools engage effectively with supply teachers on the best possible terms. The arrangements will address the high margins and fees being charged by some agencies…’
The letter also noted that arrangements by schools or multi academy trusts to directly employ supply teachers could be a ‘potentially beneficial alternative to supply agencies.’
We need to ask union negotiators to raise the issue of schools and academies employing supply teachers directly.
3) NUT Conference
I’ll draft a couple of model resolutions for NUT Conference, please let me know any ideas to include.
a) General motion calling for a National Supply Teacher Service with a central register of supply teachers. End the agency rip-off. Schools and academies to employ supply teachers directly.
b) Equal rights for supply teachers! The NUT Executive to support a supply teacher section in the NEU.
4) National Education Union
Personally I’ve been disappointed to see that none of the material or interviews about the new union has mentioned supply teachers. Maybe I missed it. Clearly as with the NUT we will have to fight for our place in the new union and make our voice heard.
The NEU has three sections for independent schools, support staff and post-16. They will have a national committees, a national conference, resolutions to main conference, a seat on the Executive and reserved places on local committees. So, supply teachers will be second class citizens in the new union, all we have is the Organising Forum and a consultative conference that isn’t allowed to discuss resolutions.
At the Supply Teacher Network Conference in July, 96% of the delegates supported the call for a supply teacher section in the NEU. Please raise this at meetings. It is possible to amend the NEU constitution but it needs a two thirds majority, see Rule 21.1. https://www.teachers.org.uk/sites/default/files2014/neu-national-rules_0.pdf
5) Shadow Education Minister
I met with Mike Kane the Shadow Education Minister and he was interested in the idea of a central register for supply teachers. Labour policy is for academies and free schools to be brought back into some form of local control. This might be at a regional level. Would be a good idea for people to contact their regional mayors to ask about supply teaching. Labour Party members could move resolutions on the supply teacher issue.
6) Next Network meeting
Saturday December 2nd in Bristol start at 1pm – finish no later than 4 pm. Buffet from 12.30 pm.