Speak out for education
Education is changing forever. From the exponential growth of academies and free schools, changes to appraisal and capability, talk of regional and performance-related pay, a new Ofsted framework and proposals to change teacher training and curriculum, the cumulative effect is profound change on a grand scale.
ATL members have already spoken out on pensions in 2011, achieving the best offer available through negotiation and preventing the imposition of a far worse deal. But in 2012 members face new threats. ATL will do everything it can prevent damaging changes but we need you, the members, to speak out for education too.
The key changes and what you can do about them
There will be changes to appraisal and capability from September 2012 − including new, imprecise standards − forcing impossible objectives on staff, resulting in withheld pay rises and greater use of capability for dismissal. ATL has lobbied hard against the simplified regulations and new standards, and has produced a model school policy jointly with NUT and NAHT. We are producing a series of factsheets so you know exactly what should be happening and what to do if you have any problems - they will soon appear on our performance management web pages.
Another new Ofsted framework from September 2012 adds further pressure, replacing 'satisfactory' with 'requires improvement' and checking every appraisal statement to ensure the new appraisal and capability standards have been applied. ATL has lobbied hard against these changes and will monitor implementation, supporting members and schools to fight unfair Ofsted judgements where necessary. Let ATL know your experiences of the new Ofsted framework in our major survey on the issue.
The Treasury is pushing for local pay arrangements and pay related to pupil performance, creating a legal and negotiating nightmare for schools which will inevitably worsen pay for the large majority of staff. ATL has submitted strong individual and joint union evidence to the review body against these proposals and will be presenting evidence to the STRB in mid-April. Tell us what you and your colleagues think – email the organising team by Monday 8 April or join the debate on facebook.com/atlunion or @atlunion #atlpay. Should reason fail, ATL and you, the members, will have to consider carefully our next steps. Keep up to date with the latest via Report and this website.
All these changes come as the government forces more turns of the workload screw, piling on further pressure to raise pupil performance targets and backing more observation in classrooms. See ATL's factsheet on observation for more.
Many ATL members now work in academies. Whilst there are some good academies, there are also others which are changing members' working conditions and access to things like CPD. ATL fully supports all members working in academies. We also believe that any school considering converting to academy status needs to consider the issues carefully and consult fully, and that no school should be forced to convert. See our academies pages for more information and advice.
You can also:
Tell us what you think about any of these issues by emailing us. The more views and evidence on the ground that we have from you, the better we can at representing your views to government.
Email your local MP directly to tell him what you think about the government's plans for education. You contact your local MP via www.writetothem.com.
If you would like to discuss any of these issues in your workplace or branch, contact ATL's organising team - we can help.