Conference fringe meetings

All fringe meetings will be held in the Exchange rooms on the upper floor (stairs are to the left of the reception). To speed things up, a buffet lunch will be served in Exchange 5; you can grab lunch on your way to the fringe. As the rooms are in use immediately after the fringe meetings, the catering staff might need to come into the meetings to collect your plates before the end.


What future for education trade unionism?

12.45-14.00: Exchange 6

This government is making it more difficult by the minute for union reps and officers to organise and support members. Members problems are rising exponentially and we are being overwhelmed. What are the solutions? Are there any solutions? What are your views? Come to a discussion that will seek to explore a way ahead.

Keep calm and start planning

12.45-14.00: Exchange 7

Endsleigh Financial will be running a session to help you understand the pension reforms from a personal perspective and assist you in planning your finances for the most comfortable retirement possible. We will be covering topics ranging from the impact of the reforms on your pension to how planning ahead will assist in reducing the impact of any changes.

Lessons from Reading Recovery: growing professional expertise in your school

12.45-14.00: Exchange 8

The international one-to-one early literacy intervention, Reading Recovery, has a long track record of success in helping the lowest literacy learners in Y1 and Y2 make accelerated progress and catch up with the average group in the class. Schools with Reading Recovery teachers use their professional expertise to improve class teaching and assessment. This fringe will offer insights into what class teachers can learn from Reading Recovery.

The Reading Recovery lesson aims for reciprocity between reading and writing. In each lesson children read several familiar stories, a book read only once on which a running record is completed (assessment of/for learning), and a new book. Children compose and write a message while working on letters and words discretely; in addition to the phonic blending and segmenting they do in reading and writing. A DVD recording of parts of a lesson will be shared and discussed in this workshop.

Links between Reading Recovery and classroom practice will be considered, drawing on theories of early literacy development and discussing procedures and principles that can be used effectively in the classroom. In particular we will discuss book selection, book introductions, using ongoing assessments to inform teaching and supporting early writing.

Mayor's inquiry into London schools

12.45-14.00: Exchange 10

Earlier this year Boris Johnson commissioned an inquiry into London Schools. Its aim is 'To inquire into the most pressing issues for primary and secondary schools in London and develop recommendations for practical action.' Nansi Ellis attended the launch of the inquiry and will brief delegates.

There is a call for evidence by 24 April and conference is an opportunity for delegates from London to make an input into ATL's response to the call for evidence.


My ideal school

12.45-14.00: Exchange 6

The learning environment, from the physical to the emotional, is a major determining factor not only in the degree to which staff and learners enjoy being there, but also in the level of performance at exam and appraisal time. Therefore it is important that the environment is conducive to great teaching and learning.

Come and find out what our panel of expert speakers think makes an ideal school, and discuss with them and other delegates what the key ingredients really are.

Should we have faith in faith schools?

12.45-140.0: Exchange 7

One-third of state schools in Britain are faith schools. Most can employ teachers and select pupils on the grounds of religion, as well only as provide their pupils with instructional RE. How can we balance the rights and freedoms of religious groups, pupils, staff and parents in the education system? Can religion in our schools lead towards social division or inspire?


  • David Kinnen, ATL member and RE teacher
  • Alison Sherratt, junior vice president of ATL and Church of England primary school teacher
  • Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE, minster of the Maidenhead Synagogue and chair of the Accord Coalition

Health and safety is for all

12.45-14.00: Exchange 8

Every member in every workplace is affected by health and safety issues. Whatever it is that concerns you, stress, asbestos, heating, taking students on trips or anything else, come along and find out what ATL are doing and how you can access the advice and support that you need to improve things where you work. Health and safety is everyone's responsibility so come along, join the discussion and make a difference.

Chair: Kim Knappett - Lead Member for Health and Safety


  • Hugh Robertson - TUC
  • Hank Roberts - ATL senior vice president

Apprenticeships - Building a bridge from school to employment?

12.45-14.00: Exchange 10

The fringe will seek to provide an understanding of how Apprenticeships work and how schools and colleges can support pupils to progress at the right time into an Apprenticeship. The event will provide some real life examples of how the bridge has been built through Apprenticeships and provide tools for careers advice colleagues to support those wishing to start an Apprenticeship. The meeting will also discuss the role of trade unions in supporting apprenticeships and how we can work together to ensure apprenticeships are high quality starts to a career."

Chair: ATL general secretary Mary Bousted


  • John Myers – National Apprenticeship Service
  • Fred Grindrod – apprenticeship policy officer, TUC
  • Jo Bailey – principal, Winstanley College, Wigan


Aspirational unionism - how do unions get members to join up, join in and get on?

12.15-13.30: Exchange 6

This panel debate will examine how we recruit the next generation of trade union members and legitimately represent their interests and concerns both in the workplace and wider community.

  • ATL general secretary Mary Bousted
  • Dr Melanie Simms (Associate Professor of Industrial Relations, University of Warwick)

FILMCLUB: a free initiative to inspire and educate through film

12.15-13.30: Exchange 7

This interactive session will outline the benefits that watching, discussing and reviewing a range of films can have on literacy, attitudes to learning and social and cultural understanding, as well as providing an overview of FILMCLUB and how delegates can get involved.


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