Tuesday at Conference 2017

What's happening on the second day of Conference.

Tuesday morning

During this session there will be a welcome an address by Shelagh Hirst, ATL president. After the session of Conference, there will be fringe meetings from 13.00 - 14.00.


THAT Conference recognises and applauds the Government’s attempts to reduce staff workload in schools, through publication and promotion of the three workload reports on planning and resources, data management and marking. Nonetheless, Conference believes that these will ultimately be as successful as King Cnut in holding back the workload tide.

Furthermore, Conference recognises that staff workload is adversely affected by the lack of adequate funding, and by the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention.

Therefore, Conference calls on the Executive Committee to lobby Government to:

(ii) honour its commitment to reduce staff workload

(ii) ensure that action on workload takes account of the findings from the teacher workload survey carried out in spring 2016, as well as the Workload Challenge’s acknowledgement of national-level drivers of workload

(iii) develop a national strategy to recruit and retain staff, including a strategy to increase the number of leaders who are highly skilled in developing people and improving children’s education.

  • Inner London

THAT Conference notes that there is a disparity among schools regarding directed time, where some staff are directed to work the full 1,265 hours excluding tasks such as data entry, marking, responding to emails, parent phone calls, doing detentions, revision sessions, etc.

Other schools are more generous and include time for some of these tasks as part of their 1,265 calculation, though this practice seems on the fast-track road to extinction. The result is disparity, stress and increased workload on members.

Conference therefore calls upon the Executive Committee to lobby the Government to redefine directed time (the explanation of which is now outdated) to include all of these necessary tasks and to produce instructions and guidance for headteachers completing directed time audits that take into account staff well-being.

  • Somerset

THAT Conference calls upon the Executive Committee urgently to address the needs of staff and students who are seeing their support structures crumbling, by:

(i) lobbying the Government to make it clear to employers that they cannot constantly ask staff to do more, in fewer hours and for less money

(ii) working with other unions, who also represent leaders in workplaces, to produce joint guidance on best practice in the face of funding cuts.


THAT Conference notes with concern that support staff are often removed from their typical duties to support the delivery of formal assessments in school, including new primary assessments and qualifications.

Conference asks the Executive Committee to investigate:

(i) the extent to which this is occurring

(ii) whether children with additional needs are negatively impacted by these arrangements

(iii) whether support staff are suitably trained for additional responsibilities

(iv) the impact on well-being and workload of staff involved

(v) whether, due to school budget pressures, support staff are being used when additional staff should be employed.

Conference asks the Executive Committee to provide a report to the 2018 Annual Conference with appropriate recommendations.

  • Somerset

THAT Conference notes with concern the increase in the use of job-share type arrangements between qualified teachers and TAs, HLTAs or unqualified teachers in schools. Further, Conference is aware that the demands placed on part-time qualified teachers to support

these staff are increasing.

Conference therefore calls on the Executive Committee to commission research into:

(i) the number of qualified teachers who are managing the full-time needs of a class while employed only part time

(ii) the pattern of hours worked by part-time teachers in job-shares and whether this really does equate to part time

(iii) any increase in schools using more unqualified teachers in order to cut costs rather than employing more qualified teachers.

Conference also asks that the data be used to produce evidence-based policies for members and for this to be shared with the Government.


THAT Conference is very concerned by the Home Office data that indicates that the number of hate crimes in England and Wales in 2015-16 was up 19% on the previous year with 62,518 offences recorded by the police. Of these, 79% were motivated by race hate, 12% sexual orientation, seven per cent religion, six per cent disability and one per cent were transgender hate crimes. (Some crimes are recorded in more than one category.)

Furthermore, Conference is alarmed by the 41% increase in hate crimes in the months that followed the Brexit vote in June 2016, and is concerned that hate speech designed to incite violence or hatred against a group of persons or member of such a group defined by a protected characteristic has become more common (particularly on social media).

Conference abhors hate crime and believes that young people need to be educated that noone should suffer harassment or abuse because of their gender, ethnicity, sexuality, disability or religion. Conference believes that diversity should be celebrated and everyone deserves to be able to learn, work and socialise without being subjected to remarks about their appearance, intelligence or capability.

Conference calls upon the Executive Committee to:

(i) continue to lobby the Government for mandatory PSHE and age-appropriate SRE in the curriculum

(ii) lobby the Government to produce updated guidance that includes discussion of hate crime and encourages critical thinking

(iii) raise awareness of the discrimination faced daily by many people and the urgent need to educate to build a culture of tolerance and respect

(iv) work with other organisations to exchange best practice and to provide CPD and resources to assist members to educate young people to recognise and challenge hate crimes and hate speech wherever they occur.


THAT Conference finds all forms of child abuse abhorrent and is very concerned about honour-based abuse practices such as FGM, forced marriage and breast-ironing. Child abuse related to faith and belief is also deeply concerning. Conference wishes to raise awareness of these practices and assist members to identify, report and educate about these forms of child abuse.

Conference therefore asks the Executive Committee to:

(i) raise awareness of honour-based abuse and child abuse related to faith and belief

(ii) produce guidance for members on how to recognise the signs of honour-based abuse and abuse related to faith and belief

(iii) promote the ATL factsheet on mandatory reporting of FGM that has recently been produced by the legal and member services department and encourages best practice of reporting

(iv) work with other organisations to provide CPD and resources to assist members to develop their skills and confidence to teach children about FGM and other abusive practices

(v) continue to lobby the Government for compulsory PSHE and age-appropriate SRE that includes this issue for all students.

  • Berkshire

THAT Conference is concerned that the HPV infection is often only discussed in view of its associated risk of cervical cancer and that the NHS currently vaccinates only girls aged 12 to 13 throughout schools in the UK.

Furthermore, Conference is concerned that a female-only vaccination programme offers no protection against HPV for men and that there is an urgent need to educate all young people on safe sex practices in order to reduce the risks of contracting HPV.

Conference therefore calls upon the Executive Committee to:

(i) raise awareness of the fact that the HPV infection can cause a range of illnesses beyond cervical cancer, in particular that certain strains of the HPV infection cause throat cancer

(ii) raise awareness that the increase in occurrences of throat cancer correlates to the increase in young people engaging in oral sex and of the importance of using protection. This needs to include safe sex for the LGBT+ community

(iii) work alongside sexual health charities and other organisations to develop resources for members to help build knowledge and understanding of the risks of HPV and of safe sex practices for the LGBT+ community

(iv) continue to lobby the Government for compulsory PSHE and age-appropriate SRE that includes this issue for all students.

  • Berkshire

THAT Conference asks the Executive Committee to commission research into instances of the abuse of the exclusion system in schools in England and Wales.

Conference further asks, as part of the research, that specific attention is paid to ‘informal exclusions’ in relation to learners with SEND and other vulnerable learners and that any trends that could be addressed are identified and made known.

  • North Wales

THAT Conference notes that ATL currently enjoys excellent channels of communication with the Welsh Government, which could be at risk, and that the Committee in Wales provides a forum for formulating member response to Welsh Government policies, which are radically and increasingly divergent from those in England.

Conference therefore instructs the Executive Committee to:

(i) examine the ramifications of the emerging NEU for members working in devolved administrations

(ii) consider appropriate mechanisms and representative structures capable of furthering members’ interests; in particular that arrangements for working with devolved Governments are able to build on current success and allow for further dialogue and consultation.

  • Northern Ireland

THAT Conference notes with concern the decision of the Northern Ireland Education Minister of 12th October 2016 to impose a teachers’ pay settlement of 0% for 2015-16 and 1% for 2016-17.

Conference commends ATL’s ongoing actions in campaigning successfully to obstruct the implementation of Performance Related Pay in Northern Ireland throughout 2015-16.

Conference further notes that the Northern Ireland Executive collapsed in the wake of the RHI scandal and that it may take weeks or months to re-establish the devolved institutions.

ATL’s pay campaign, with other unions within the Northern Ireland Teaching Council, including industrial action, is with a view to achieving pay restoration within the lifetime of the next Northern Ireland Assembly mandate. Pending the re-establishment of the NI Executive, a political vacuum militates against an early resolution to industrial action and a fair pay settlement for teachers.

Conference calls upon the Executive Committee to lobby all Northern Ireland political parties to renew efforts to re-establish the devolved institutions and to make education, and decent pay for teachers, a key priority in the new administration.


THAT Conference reasserts that decisions regarding educational content and delivery should be made by experienced education professionals. As such, Conference welcomes the creation of a Chartered College of Teaching in England. Conference believes that the College, as an independent body, can complement the work of the education unions towards repositioning the locus of expertise for pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, pastoral care and well-being within the profession.

Conference calls on the Executive Committee to work closely with the Chartered College as it develops by:

(i) sharing information about the challenges and needs of the profession

(ii) strengthening the voice of the profession through opportunities for joint working, particularly around issues of professionalism and teachers’ professional development.

Conference sessions

Find out more about the other sessions of Conference.