Wednesday 13 May 2009

Bexley NUT discusses workload

I was invited to speak to the Bexley Association meeting tonight on 'workload'. We debated how best to encourage school groups to take collective action together - particuarly when confronted with bullying management.

One teacher from an Academy explained how most Heads of Department in her school were being threatened with 'capability' proceedings. In my own borough of Lewisham, this is also becoming too frequently used a threat. Staff are faced with the choice of being pushed through the stress of target-setting, observations and nit-picking criticism - or, as too often happens, to jump before they are pushed and leave. We need to try and organise collective action against these bullying managers rather than leaving staff to be picked off one by one.

I also argued that the Union's strategy of school-by-school workload action was failing to turn the tide. Teachers agreed with me that national action, pulling together the whole membership in a national workload dispute - was the way forward.

Of course, this was the policy I argued for successfully at National Conference - but look at the latest 'Teacher' and you will hardly find a mention of the debate in the Conference reports. Why not? I'll certainly be arguing to put this policy into practice in my campaign - and if I am elected as Vice-President.


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