ATL Conference 2012
Monday 2 April - afternoon session
Second session of Conference: 15.30-18.30
During this session there will be an address by Alice Robinson, ATL president, and a presentation from The Magna Carta School, Staines, on homophobic bullying.
- 16 PGCE bursaries - carried
- 11 Professional structure for teaching assistants - carried
- 12 Cooperation and competition - lost
- 13 Aimhigher - carried
- 14 Teacher recruitment - carried
- 15 Induction in Northern Ireland - withdrawn
- 17 Initial teacher education - Remitted to Executive
- 18 Occupational health - carried
- 19 Democracy in education - carried
- 19 AMENDMENT - carried
16 PGCE bursaries - carried
COMPOSITE from motions submitted by Cambridgeshire branch and individual members
THAT conference is concerned by the detrimental impact of the announcement of tapered bursaries in England on the quality of teachers and potential retention rates in future years. Conference asks the Executive Committee to:
(i) challenge the government's misguided view that academic excellence and ability to teach are synonymous
(ii) conduct an in-depth analysis and formulate a policy position on the impact of changes to the bursary scheme on teacher training applications
(iii) lobby the government to ensure a fair and inclusive bursary system.
Proposer: Caroline Gray, University of Worcester, Worcester
Seconder: Steve Taylor, Warboys Community Primary School, Huntingdon
11 Professional structure for teaching assistants - carried
THAT conference believes that the abandonment of a national professional career structure for support staff in England is to be deeply regretted, especially at this time of great change when the government purports to seek the raising of professional standards throughout the education system. It undermines the work of all support staff, sending out the message that proper training, career development and professional status are not important. Conference calls upon the Executive Committee to continue to lobby the government for a national structure that guarantees equality of standards as well as the recognition of their invaluable contribution to the education of the nation's children.
Proposer: Michael Freeman, Denefield School, Reading, Berkshire
Seconder: Jenny Inglis, unattached member, Berkshire
12 Cooperation and competition - lost
NORTH WALES BRANCH
THAT conference believes that cooperation and competition are incompatible.
Proposer: Dean Brown, Ysgol Clywedog, Wrexham
Seconder: Maxine Bradshaw, Ysgol Llywelyn, Rhyl
13 Aimhigher - carried
THAT conference deplores the erosion of social inclusion in higher education in England through the cancellation of 'Aimhigher', and calls upon the Executive Committee to lobby the government to replace 'Aimhigher' with a robust service enabling all young people to make fully informed decisions about 18+ education.
Proposer: Clare Kellett, West Somerset Community College, Somerset
Seconder: Caroline Kolek, Taunton Academy, Somerset
14 Teacher recruitment - carried
ESSEX, SOUTHEND AND THURROCK BRANCH
(i) acknowledges the vital importance of recruiting the very best candidates into the teaching profession
(ii) notes, with dismay, the number of government policies that have militated against this, including the introduction of tuition fees and detrimental pension proposals
(iii) instructs the Executive Committee to report to the government on the evidence that demonstrates the factors that are critical to securing the best teachers for the future of the profession.
Proposer: Geoff Pye, Brentwood School, Essex
Seconder: Christine Bennett, supply teacher, Essex
15 Induction in Northern Ireland - withdrawn
NORTHERN IRELAND BRANCH
THAT conference notes with concern that newly qualified teachers in Northern Ireland are finding it difficult to complete their induction process due to the appalling lack of teaching jobs.
Conference calls upon the Executive Committee to place pressure on DENI to put in place a process whereby final year B.Ed student teachers are able to complete their induction during their final seven-week placement.
Proposer: Avril McConnell, Drumglass High School, Dungannon
Seconder: Angelina Bell, unattached member, Northern Ireland
17 Initial teacher education - Remitted to Executive
COMPOSITE from motions submitted by Inner London branch and individual members
THAT conference notes that initial teacher education (ITE) needs to encompass a range of theoretical and research perspectives, as well as the practical applications of these within a classroom context. Conference recognises that it is important to have a diverse range of routes into teaching, to meet the needs of individual colleagues, including graduates who have been in other employment before joining the teaching profession.
However, conference has grave reservations about the ability of school-based schemes to prepare late entrants fully for the complex job of teaching, noting with alarm that half leave within two years. Conference also notes that the proposed changes in England and accepted changes in Scotland to routes and content of ITT/ITE have implications for standards and quality of programmes and the experience of new practitioners.
Conference therefore asks the Executive Committee to:
(i) set up a working party to produce a position statement on what makes effective ITT/ITE, including the reasons for wastage and ways to improve retention
(ii) lobby the Scottish government and the Department for Education (DfE) to consider the resulting position statement and the experiences of students.
Proposer: Paul Campbell, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
Seconder: Jean Roberts, Old Oak Primary School, London
18 Occupational health - carried
THAT conference values occupational health. However, conference expresses concern over some occupational health provision and practices. Conference urges the Executive Committee to draw up a code of practice.
Proposer: Zöe Fail, Bacton Primary School, Norfolk
Seconder: Gill Ellis, unattached member, Norfolk
19 Democracy in education - carried
THAT conference notes with serious alarm the rapid increase in government legislation and actions that remove democratic input and controls in England's education system and make it an increasingly dictatorial one.
Conference believes that democracy is at the heart of education and is the key to how we managed to have a state education system that was free at the point of use in the first place. Conference states that this is clearly under sustained attack by this government and therefore calls on the membership and the Executive Committee to resist this loss of democracy by all means possible.
Conference further calls for ATL to produce, if possible, jointly with other education unions, a publication which would provide a history of the importance of democracy in education and highlighting the attacks on it. This could be used in a campaign to educate members, parents and the public as to the crucial role and importance of democracy in the education system.
Proposer: Hank Roberts, Copland Community School, Brent
Seconder: Azra Haque, The Village School, Brent
19 AMENDMENT - carried
At the end of the first paragraph, insert 'Conference also deplores the right of FE college governors to disestablish the college in favour of becoming a company, charity or trust. This effectively ends public accountability in the post-16 sector.'
After 'government' in the second paragraph, insert 'in the post-16 sector as well as the primary and secondary sectors.' Before 'campaign' in the third paragraph, insert 'joint union.'
Proposer: Stephen Sidgwick, Executive Committee
Seconder: Stella Jales, Executive Committee