Update: 9th May 2022

NEU DISTRICT AGM

Monday 16th May

5:00pm

Stepney Green School

with NEU President, Daniel Kebede

Pay and Workload: organising in your school

Alongside preparing for an indicative ballot on pay, we want to support school groups in tackling workload issues, so that we can make a difference for members. Please hold a meeting for members in your schools so that you can raise these issues and gather information about the specific concerns staff have.

We have suggested looking at Appraisal policies and lesson observations, but as we are now in the “report writing season” perhaps you could discuss expectations and how much time is allowed for this.

We are here to help, and would be happy to come and join your discussions – we can pay for some refreshments. Just let us know.

TUC Cost of Living Demonstration Saturday 18th June

We want to mobilise as many members as possible to come to the TUC cost of living demonstration on Saturday June 18th. This is an important opportunity for us to join with other unions and community organisations to send a message to the government about how their economic policies are hurting working people.

We are asking members to pledge to attend using this form – please discuss this in your school and aim to bring a delegation.

We are working with other unions in the borough to organise leafleting of tube stations on Thursday 19th May between 5pm and 6pm to raise awareness of this important demonstration.

Please let us know if you can help out with this.

Report on pay meeting with local MPs

Last week we met with the two MPs for Tower Hamlets, Rushanara Ali and Apsana Begum, to brief them on our campaign on pay and concerns about the government recommendations to the STRB.

You can download the notes of what we presented to them here

Both MPs were very supportive and said they would like for opportunities to press our case.

We agreed to arrange a follow up meeting before the end of term when we see the STRB report.

NEU Executive by-election

Following the resignation of Kirstie Paton from the NEU Executive, a by-election for her seat is taking place this term.

Under Union rules the place is reserved for a woman.

We are entitled to make a nomination and will be discussing any requests we have received at our meeting on May 16th.

British Bangladeshis – film screening and Q&A

We have a new date for our film screening and Q&A with Aminul Hoque – it will now take place on Monday July 4th at Morpeth School.

Download the flyer here

You can book tickets here

Update: 25th April 2022

Pay Campaign

NEU Conference in Bournemouth decided to prepare members for an indicative strike ballot on pay.

This is in response to the cost of living crisis, and the government’s wholly inadequate recommendations to the School Teacher Review Body.

The NEU is campaigning for all teachers, and support staff, to receive a pay rise of at least 9% in 2022 and 2023.

We want to take this campaign to members in every workplace during the summer term.

Please download this newsletter on the pay campaign and share with members in your workplace.

Meeting with MPs

As part of our campaign we have arranged online meetings with Tower Hamlets MPs, Rushanara Ali and Apsana Begum.

We want to use these meetings to explain to Rushanara and Apsana how the cost of living crisis is affecting education staff.

It would be great if you could join one or other of the meetings.

See below for the details of each meeting:

You can also use this form to submit comments or a video about your pay, which the Union will be collating and using in its evidence to the Pay review Body.

Membership Check

In preparation for a ballot on pay we want to make sure your membership record is accurate and up to date. It is particularly important we have an up to date email, home address and workplace recorded for all members.

To help us do this please click here to log in to MyNeu where you can access your membership record.


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Kiri Tunks wins NEU Annie Higdon Award

We are really proud that Tower Hamlets & the City Membership and Equality Officer, Kiri Tunks, has won the Annie Higdon award.

This award is given each year to a member of the NEU recognition of work to challenge sexism and engage women in the union.

The citation read:

“Kiri is awarded the Annie Higdon award in acknowledgement of a lifetime of activity to engage women in the NEU. Supporting sisters to stand up, speak up and take up space. She has consistently and persistently pushed for change to make the NEU more accessible, welcoming and relevant to women members and activists.”

The Strike is remembered on the first weekend in September every year with a rally in Burston, Norfolk. This year the rally will take place on Sunday 4th September.

More details here

Annie Higdon

Annie came from a working-class family in Cheshire. She became a school teacher before she married, and later became headmistress at Wood Dalling, a village school in Norfolk. Her husband held a junior position though most of the documents, books and blogs about the pair do not acknowledge this.

Annie and her husband challenged authorities and pushed for improvements to the school building and learning environment. School governors resented the couple repeatedly raising concerns over the children’s welfare and organised a transfer to another Norfolk school; Burston. Annie’s final entry into the school log was expunged from the records because they it was considered to be political and inflammatory.

Annie Higdon award
Annie Higdon

Popular with the community and the children of her new school, Annie lobbied the education authority for school improvements, including tackling damp cold classrooms and other unhygienic conditions. She and her husband clashed with the parish rector and school board. In 1914 the Higdons were dismissed (from their teaching posts) after accusations that Annie had lit a fire without permission and failed to curtsy to the rector’s wife.

Violet Potter, a student of the school, organised 66 children to walk out of school in protest. The pupils of Burston School marched around the village with cards hanging around their necks saying “WE WANT OUR TEACHERS BACK”. The banner at the head of the march said just one word: “JUSTICE”.

Refusing to go back to the school, the children were educated in makeshift school rooms around the village. Supported by the wider labour movement, as word of their struggle spread, supporters donated funds for a new, independent schoolhouse. Annie continued to dispute her dismissal for over 25 years. There has never been an official resolution to the dispute.

More

For more on Annie Higdon and the Burston School Strike, see

NEU Annie Higdon Award

TUC 150 Stories Burston School Strike

Burston Strike School

 For resourses on challenging sexism

UPDATE: Monday 21st March 2022

NEU DISTRICT MEETING

Monday 28th March

5:00pm

Stepney Green School

Please note this meeting will be held in person

DISCUSSION ON APPRAISAL

Please see the document below which summarises a presentation from our last meeting on how Cubitt Town Junior School approaches appraisal, lesson observations and professional development.

There are some questions at the end which we want to use as the basis for discussion at our meeting on Monday 28th March.

PAY CAMPAIGN

Please try and get colleagues to join the London demonstration on pay and the cost of living crisis next Wednesday – assemble 6:00pm at Westminster Cathedral.

We have had a positive response from Rushanara Ali to our request for a meeting to discuss pay and the government’s proposals – we are aiming to do this early next term.

UKRAINE

The motion for discussion at our next meeting is attached.

DISTRICT ELECTIONS

Finally, a reminder that nominations are open for our District Officer and Committee elections. Please have a think about whether there is a role you could take on to help us develop our work. The nomination form is below. Please contact us with any questions.

We hope to see you at the General Meeting – in person – at Stepney Green School

UPDATE: 14th March 2022

GENERAL MEMBERS MEETING

BACK IN PERSON!

NEU DISTRICT MEETING

Monday 28th March

5:00pm

(Please note earlier start time)

Stepney Green School

Ben Jonson Road E1 4SD

Our next General Members Meeting will be held in-person at Stepney Green School at the earlier time of 5pm. It has been a long time since we were able to meet in this way and we really hope to see as many members there as possible.

Download the the flyer/agenda to circulate to members in your school

Agenda for General Meeting

  • Appraisal and lesson observations
  • Government pay proposals and NEU campaign
  • Ukraine (motion submitted by District Committee)
  • Membership and finance report

Refreshments and a childminder are provided.

There will also be some NEU merchandise to collect for members in your school.

Download our latest newsletter

This newsletter focuses on teachers’ pay. Please download and circulate it to colleagues in your school by hard copy or email. Thank you.

We are producing a model letter for members to sign and send to your governing body.

We are also writing to our MPs asking them to meet a delegation of teachers to talk about pay and workload.

BUDGET DAY PROTEST: 23rd March 2022

We would like to encourage colleagues to join the Budget Day Protest next Wednesday – see flyer below for details. Please download and share with colleagues.

TACKLING WORKLOAD

The Department for Education has updated its Workload Reduction Toolkit.

This has been sent to headteachers and sits quite well with our own Value Education, Value Educators documents.

We recommend that Reps discuss these documents with members and identify areas where your school could make improvements in policies and practices that can reduce workload and improve well-being.

Both pay and workload are on the agenda for our meeting on 28th March, which I hope you will be able to attend.

We are keen to visit schools and meet with Reps and members, so do let us know if you would like us to come into your school.

Update: 28th February 2022

Ukraine

In these very uncertain times our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion, and we must hope that there can be a peaceful, negotiated settlement to the crisis.

The NEU Executive meets on Saturday and will discuss the situation.

The Union is contacting education unions in Ukraine and I am sure we will issue advice for members in school and suggestions for how we can support humanitarian appeals. 

Covid Update

Last week, we met with LBTH and Public Health to discuss the government’s lifting of Covid restrictions. Although self-isolation is no longer a legal requirement, schools are advised to keep current safety measures in place.

Therefore, LBTH is strongly advising staff to self-isolate for five days if they test positive for Covid or develop symptoms – no member of staff should lose pay as a result of following this advice.

LFT Testing should continue and LBTH are looking at what supplies can be made available to schools

General Members Meeting Monday 28th February

We are really pleased to be welcoming our Joint General Secretary, Mary Boustd, to our meeting tonight. Mary will speak about NEU policy on appraisal and lesson observations and we will discuss how we can support reps and members.

We will also be discussing the latest news on the pay campaign following completion of the recent survey.

Finally, we will discuss some proposed amendments to NEU Conference motions. The District Committee is proposing this set of six.

All of these amendments are additions to existing motions which can be found in the booklet below.

District Elections Timetable

We have reached the time of year where we begin the process of electing our officers and committee members for the forthcoming year.

See below for a nomination form which lists the officer positions. In addition, we have six places on our Committee.

This is a great opportunity for some of our Reps to build on the great work you have been doing in school and help us develop our organising plan to support Reps and members.

This year two of our longstanding officers, Baljeet Ghale and Kiri Tunks, are standing down so we are looking for a new Treasurer and Membership & Equalities officer.

NEU International Women’s Day Event

Breaking down stereotypes: role models for girls in STEM
Click here to register

UPDATE: 21st February 2022

NEU DISTRICT MEETING

Monday 28th February

5:30pm va Zoom

register here

Our meeting next Monday will feature a discussion about appraisal, lesson observations and other forms of scrutiny.

Mary Bousted will join us and we will hear from one local school which has developed some very good practice in this area.

Please share the advert below and the registration link with colleagues in your school.

At the meeting we will also update you on the NEU pay survey and campaign and discuss amendments to NEU Conference motions. Click on the link below to see the motions which have been prioritised for debate at the Conference. Amendments to these motions can now be submitted by districts.

NEU Conference

We still have two places left on our delegation to NEU Conference – if you are interested please contact Alex.kenny@neu.org.uk as soon as possible for more details.

LGBT+ History Month 2022

February 2022 LGBT+ History Month

This year the theme for LGBT+ History Month is Politics in Art.

Please see the LGBT+ History month website for information, guidance and ideas for educators to use in schools.

Tower Hamlets and the City NEU is building an archive of resources to help educators teach about LGBT+ equality in schools and colleges. If you have a resource or a recommendation, please email Alex.Kenny@NEU.org.uk.

You can see our curriculum resources page here.

We would love to add the resources and ideas you used this year to this page.

NEU Equality Guidance for staff

For more guidance on LGBT+ issues in schools and for staff members please see our LGBT+ Equality page.

NEU Executive representative for LGBT+ members

Kacey de Groot is the Executive member elected by NEU LGBT+ members.

To contact Kacey, email kacey.degroot@neu.org.uk

NEU LGBT+ resources

For more NEU guidance, information and resources click here

Holocaust Memorial Day 2022

27 January is Holocaust Memorial Day. These resources are to support teachers and learners in finding out more about why this day is so important.

Michael Rosen

Please watch the short videos below from author Michael Rosen, recorded especially for the NEU, which remind us of the importance of commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day.

Michael has also prepared these teaching resources for you to use in class. See below for more resources from the NEU.

Holocaust Memorial Day Webcast 2022

This webcast has been organised in conjunction with the Holocaust Education Trust.

The webcast is live and will take place from 10-11am on Wednesday, 26 January. Join us to hear Holocaust survivor Eva Clarke’s incredible testimony.

f you have any questions, please email webcast@het.org.uk

HET also has a set of resources to explore these subthemes in your school or commemorative event

NEU HMD resources

NEU resources on tackling antisemitism

For more on tackling racism and antisemitism on our local website

TUC Guide on tackling antisemitism

TUC timeline on antisemitism in the UK

We are collating links to resources or developed by our members. If you have a good resource that you would be happy to share with others, please email alex.kenny@neu.org.uk. Thank you

UPDATE: 10th January 2022

NEU DISTRICT MEETING

Monday 17th January

5:30pm via Zoom

register here

NEU SURVEY ON TEACHER PAY

The NEU survey on teacher pay begins on Friday 14th January. The survey is a very important part of the Union’s campaign to influence the outcome of the STRB process between now and the summer term.

We want to work with Reps to ensure that members know what we are doing and why we are doing it, and that we get the best response to the survey.

There are a number of things we need you to do:

1. REGISTER for our meeting on Monday 17th January

2. CIRCULATE the attached newsletter to colleagues in your school

3. ORGANISE a meeting for members in your school (we can get local committee members to attend)

4. CHECK the NEU membership list for you school (let us know of any changes)

5. ENCOURAGE NEU members to check their member details at https://my.neu.org.uk/login and to vote in the survey

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