Lewisham NUT's meeting tonight followed a discussion on building the turnout in the pensions survey with a discussion on amendments to motions for NUT Conference. Teachers were particularly enthusiastic about tackling excessive workload and breaking the grip of ofsted.
We agreed the following two amendments in these areas:
MOTION 36 OFSTED
Insert a new point 5 at the end of the motion:
5. Consider whether non co-operation with inspection arrangements could be pursued as a workable action strategy to defend members and to support our campaign, particularly in the light of the decision by INTO to include non-co-operation with the Education and Training Inspectorate in schools in the North of Ireland.
MOTION 5 TEACHER WORKLOAD
Insert new paragraphs 3 and 4:
Conference is angered by the comments made by Michael Gove that teachers should welcome even longer working hours. Conference is clear that teachers already face excessive workload and that this is not only damaging to both staff health and well-being but also reduces the quality of education that teachers and schools can provide. Instead of extending hours, Government should be investing in education through recruiting more qualified teachers, allowing schools to increase PPA time and reduce class sizes, so as to both cut teacher workload and improve education.
Conference notes that these threats to increase working hours are just one part of a barrage of threatened Government attacks on the pay and conditions of teachers. When considering an action strategy against these threats, Conference instructs the Executive to consider the benefits of combining a number of separate issues in a single action ballot, rather than issuing separate ballots for action over each separate issue.