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					                               NASUWT the teachers’ union

NASUWT The Teachers’ Union
Representatives Bulletin - February 2009
Use Of External Companies For Performance Management Training
There are a growing number of external companies/private consultants that are seeking to
sell their services to schools to provide training and support on performance management.
The NASUWT has come across a number of these, the most recent being Head Support
Ltd, sometimes also called Extended Service Ltd. School leaders and governing bodies
should be discouraged from using such organisations for the following reasons:

     they often encourage an approach that was never intended by the original guidance
      from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). For example, the
      approach to performance management is often not developmental or supportive but
      advocates a punitive approach akin to a capability procedure;
     materials the NASUWT has seen are inaccurate and outwith the Performance
      Management Regulations in many respects, meaning that schools will be in breach
      of statutory provisions;
     the fees charged are considerable and, in the view of the NASUWT, constitute a
      gross waste of public money, particularly in light of the above.

Schools have access to all of the materials they need if they use the guidance on
performance management produced by the Rewards and Incentives Group (RIG), which
comprises ASCL, ATL, DCSF, NAHT, NASUWT, Voice and the National Employers. This
contains all the necessary advice on applying the regulations, gives guidance on the
process and includes a model performance management policy that is fully compliant with
the Regulations. All of this is free. If additional training and support is necessary, local
authorities and school have access to the Training and Development Agency (TDA)
training which provides materials agreed with the RIG.

The NASUWT is receiving growing concerns from members in National Challenge Schools
about increased workload particularly in relation to assessment, meetings and increased
classroom observation which in many cases exceeding the upper limit of three hours in the
performance management regulations.

Being part of the National Challenge programme should not result in increased workload
for teachers. If this is occurring in your school, NASUWT Representatives are advised to
meet with the headteacher and raise the concerns. Representatives should also request to
see a copy of the action plan that has been drawn up and agreed between the school and
the local authority or advisor, which is required as part of the National Challenge process.

National Challenge schools may be presented by the negative media as failing schools but
they are not and there should be no reason for teachers in these schools to be the subject
of increased burdens or punitive processes. The National Challenge funding that is
available to the schools should be accessed by schools to provide additional support.

Where the increased burdens on teachers continue, contact should be made with the
NASUWT Local Association or National Executive Member for further support and advice.

                            the largest UK-wide teachers’ union
Nationally, the DCSF, the National Employers, ASCL, ATL, NAHT, NASUWT and Voice
have been working to agree the clauses in the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions
Document (STPCD) to reflect accurately what rarely covering, which takes effect from 1
September 2009, means in practice. This has proved much more difficult than anticipated
as it is necessary to be able to put rarely covering in the STPCD in a way that makes it
absolutely clear in its intention.

Concerns have been expressed about the delay but in fact the only schools that will be
finding this problematic are ones that have not followed the statutory and other guidance
that has been issued regularly since 2003 and that has made absolutely clear the
intentions with regard to cover. If these had been implemented fully and appropriately, a
year on year reduction in cover by teachers at the school for the last four years would have
been seen.

Headteachers already have the following duty:
   “Ensuring that the duty to provide cover for absent teachers is shared equitably
   among all teachers in the school (including the headteacher) taking account of their
   teaching and other duties and the desirability of not using a teacher at the school
   until all other reasonable means of providing cover have been exhausted.” (STPCD,
   page 117, paragraph 60.4.4.)

For the last two years the STPCD has contained advice that:
   “Schools should expect to implement the objective that teachers should cover only
   rarely from September 2009. In the meantime schools should set their own interim
   targets, informed by the latest OME data which serves as a benchmark, to ensure
   that they are ready to meet the objective of teachers rarely covering from 1
   September 2009.”
The whole purpose of this contractual change is to raise standards in schools by removing
teachers from activities such as short term or emergency cover, which does not require
their skills and abilities, to enable them to focus on their core role of teaching and learning.
Longer term cover, for example maternity leave, long-term sickness and secondment
require educational progress to be maintained and therefore qualified supply teachers
should be used.

Your school should have a strategy in place to meet the objective of rarely covering and if
it does not, then representations should be made to the school management immediately
to begin this process. As soon as the exact contractual provisions are agreed, these will
be circulated but in the meantime schools should be making appropriate preparations.
NASUWT Representatives should not agree to a school-based definition of rarely covering
and should contact their NASUWT Local Association or National Executive Member if they
are pressed to do so.

Academies, Trusts And National Challenge Trusts
If there is any discussion about your school becoming an academy, trust or National
Challenge Trust, immediate contact should be made with the NASUWT Local Association
Secretary or National Executive Member so that advice, support and information about the
implications for pay and conditions of service can be provided.

                             the largest UK-wide teachers’ union
Arts & Minds 2009 Competition Opens
The highly successful NASUWT Arts & Minds Competition is now open for 2009.
Enclosed with this bulletin are the competition entry form and details about the
competition. Please ensure that this is drawn to the attention of the headteacher and all
teachers in the school. The competition is not confined to pupils taught by NASUWT
members. It is open to all teachers at the school.

Please take the opportunity to promote this exciting and worthwhile competition to your

Information can be found on the Arts & Minds website:

Removal Of Key Stage 3 SATs
After the initial welcome by teachers of the decision by the Secretary of State to remove
the Key Stage 3 SATs, a grim reality appears to be setting in in some schools.

The intention behind the Government’s removal of the SATs was:
      the end of Key Stage 3 as a key accountability moment;
      creation of space in the curriculum;
      time to review and strip out elements of unnecessary work;
      the total amount of testing to go down with schools stripping out the optional tests
       and mocks that they had done in preparation for the SATs;
      the opportunity for more creativity and flexibility in the curriculum.

Whilst there have been a few positive reports, particularly from members who teach
English, there has been a steady stream of calls and e-mails far outweighing the positive
messages, advising that the response of some schools has been negative and it is
increasing workload.

Members report that some schools are:
   planning no change and will continue with the testing, only now instead of the end
    of year SATs being externally marked, teachers at the school will be expected to
    mark them;
   retaining the testing regime and introducing new, more workload and
    bureaucratically intensive teacher assessment;
   not removing the Key Stage 3 targets as they are able to do and are maintaining
    performance management objectives based on the SATs scores.

The NASUWT has already raised these concerns with Ministers.

NASUWT Representatives are asked to call a meeting of members to discuss their views
on the school’s response to the removal of the Key Stage 3 SATs. Members should be
asked for their views about whether the changes have:
      resulted in more time and flexibility in the curriculum;
      reduced or increased workload;
      changed the assessment regime in the school in a positive or negative way.

Any changes should have been the subject of consultation with teachers and their unions.

                            the largest UK-wide teachers’ union
Members concerns should be raised immediately with the headteacher. If it is not possible
to resolve these internally, then contact should be made with the NASUWT.

The key benchmark for testing the school’s response to the removal of the SATs is that
there should be no additional workload for teachers as a result.

If you experience any problems on the issues raised in this bulletin, please contact your
NASUWT Local Secretary, National Executive Member or Regional Centre.

Contact details can be found:
     in the NASUWT diary;
     on the website;
     by phoning 0121 453 6150.

NASUWT – The Teachers Union
Hillscourt Education Centre
Rose Hill, Rednal
Birmingham B45 8RS
T: 0121 453 6150
F: 0121 457 6208
The largest teachers’ union in the UK

                            the largest UK-wide teachers’ union

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