15 February 2021

SRTRC School Competition 2021


The National Education Union are once again very proud to be supporting the Show Racism The Red Card School Competition. We would like to encourage schools to enter by 1st April - it could be an ideal activity for pupils to complete as part of home learning perhaps. Here's a little more information about the competition:

Show Racism the Red Card Competitions encourage young people from schools and other educational settings to produce creative work with an original anti-racism theme.

In England, Wales and Scotland a competition is held annually and thousands of young people participate. The competitions are free to enter and open to young people of all ages and abilities.

Entrants can produce work in a wide-range of media, including artwork, creative writing, film and music. The entries are consistently inspirational and SRtRC makes sure that many have a resonance beyond the competition by using them in educational resources and magazines, on the campaign’s website, social media channels, YouTube and in a special calendar. All competition winners are invited to a special awards ceremony with prizes presented by special guests, including current and former professional footballers.

To find out more about the competition download the information pack and guidelines here.

12 February 2021

Some Good News for Supply Teachers

For many years now supply teachers have had to rely on work supplied to them by agencies. As we all know there are good agencies and bad agencies, but even the better agencies take a cut of our pay, which is rightfully ours.   In 2017 for example, £821 million was spent on supply teachers across the country, but £271 million, nearly £1 in every three, went to the agencies. We all know this isn’t right, but can we do anything about it?

Well, there is something we can do.  The NEU in the Northern Region is in the process of developing a cooperative for supply teachers, in conjunction with the office of Jamie Driscoll, the North of Tyne Mayor and local authorities and conversations are taking place with some of the big multi-academy trusts.   You would be a part owner of this agency and as a result you would keep 90% of what the school pays for you.   The other 10% would go to the cooperative to help it to both keep going and expand its work and to help provide both teachers’ pension funds for you and high quality CPD.

The coop would also give you a sense of real control over your working life, instead of being at the whims of dubious market forces and having to haggle over the phone with an agency.

The main features of the coop will be as follows:

      1. Service provision that ensures public funding for education stays within the public/not for profit sector

      2. An agency that is more locally economically generative meaning money would stay in our region, where it is much needed, instead of leaving it.

      3. Delivers reliability of service and quality supply staff & results in lower costs to schools, so benefitting the education of the children of our region.

      4. Delivers fairer remuneration, better terms and conditions and continued professional development for supply staff

      5. Multi-stakeholder approach and a democratic structure equally representative of needs of schools and supply staff


This is a great opportunity for you to be part of a really positive new initiative by your union, which sees teachers working in solidarity to the benefit of all.   And while it will initially only involve schools north of the River Tyne, the intention is for it to be extended across the region as soon as possible.   It is also envisaged that we will have a worker from Coops UK to help us with this exciting development.

In the second half of the 19th century, when the cooperative movement really took off in Britain, following the success of the Rochdale Pioneers in 1844, the Northeast became the region in Britain, with the highest number of cooperative members per head of population. It seems therefore highly appropriate that such an initiative as this teachers’ coop should begin in our region.  Again, we can lead the way and in so doing bring you better pay and conditions, a bigger say over your career and a brighter future.

We are making progress towards the establishment of the coop, so please join the WhatsApp group to learn more about this and for discussions about other supply issues.

Peter Sagar February 2020        

11 December 2020


NEU year, NEU start - RECT goes virtual

Are you a NQT, RQT or member under 35? If so, the NEU invites you to look at Education in a time of Covid and how you can look after yourself and provide the best for your children. Join us on the 30th January 2021.

With only 8 more gettyups until most of us get that so hugely deserved Christmas break, we thought you might like to hear something you're planning for the New Year!

Our RECT Weekend has long been the highlight of the NEU Northern Region calendar, but for obvious reasons we've had to change a great deal this year!

We still plan a blend of CPD, training and social activities, all aimed at members in the early part of their career.

So far we have confirmed...


Check our more: rect.org.uk
Join our socials: Twitter & Facebook

11 November 2020

Plan B for Education:

If you are an NEU member in the northern region and want to be part of the solution then register for this Zoom meeting now https://neu-org-uk.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUof-6srj0oHtPwWN354m6Qq_D6yBxuXVcZ

02 November 2020

Agency Worker Regulations - Diane Adam

Since being elected to the Supply and Home Tuition Organising Forum as delegate for the Northern Region, I have been amazed at how few people understand or have even heard of Agency Worker Regulations, or AWR. If you are doing supply work through an agency, you may be owed hundreds of pounds!

The regulations state that agency workers are entitled to parity pay after 12 weeks in the same role, with the same LA or MAT. It does not have to be in the same school and does not need to be full time. The 12 weeks do not need to be consecutive, as long as any break does not exceed 6 weeks during term time. Parity pay means that you are paid the same salary as you would be if you were hired directly by the school.

If you have left your school, you have three months from the last day worked to claim, so it is still worth doing. Remember! This is something you are entitled to by law. Any agency or school not paying it, is breaking the law and can face substantial fines. For further information go to https://neu.org.uk/advice/agency-worker-regulations, or contact your branch secretary. 

Diane Adam
NEU Durham District & Supply and Home Tuition Organising Forum

23 October 2020

Update on the NEU's COVID response

As half-term approaches I am contacting you to provide an update on the union’s response to the escalating COVID crisis in the region and describe some developments we will be carrying forward over the break, into November and beyond.

With the whole of the Region now in the second tier of the government’s new community restrictions it is important that we build on the excellent work done in spring and summer to ensure that schools and education professionals contribute meaningfully to the maintenance of safe workplaces and the suppression of community transmission of the virus.  While local Branches and school groups continue to negotiate with employers, monitor checklists and react to outbreaks, we have, this week, taken the following steps to ensure the voice of the profession is heard:

• The Joint General Secretaries have written to all employers in the sector to remind them of their legal obligations and citing new evidence on the significance of social distancing, ventilation and infection rates among young people.  The same letter reiterates the union’s demand in respect of the safety of high-risk, clinically vulnerable and extremely clinically vulnerable staff

• Branch Secretaries, have written to all Directors of Public Health in the region to examine their role in advising how local partners should work with the public to “prevent, contain and manage” outbreaks of coronavirus with a specific emphasis on education and early years settings

• I have met with (or written to) local Council Leaders, Metro Mayors and Members of Parliament to discuss the circumstances in which it would be appropriate to consider implementing the range of options available to local leaders which are set out in the government’s Contain Framework which was published on 28 August – a time when infection rates were much lower than they are now

• We have arranged a members’ Zoom meeting on 17 November to establish how best to respond to known problems in schools/colleges and co-ordinate activity to maximise our influence over decision makers. If you have not already done so you can register for this Zoom meeting here.

• We have issued posters to every workplace highlighting recommended “Dos and Don’ts” intended to preserve some minimum standards on safety and working conditions

• Via the TUC we have led discussions with other unions in the sector to ensure an effective and joined-up approach consistent with our National Recovery Plan for Education

• We are in the final stages of developing an App for use by school reps (or members in schools without a rep) to flag up COVID safety and workload concerns and escalate them collectively to school leaders with appropriate support from union structures.  It is expected that this will be launched on 3 November by text and email.

Much more information, advice and guidance on coronavirus issues can be found on our dedicated webpages.

In the event that current community infection rates do not subside the focus on schools and colleges will intensify in November and members are therefore encouraged to remain in contact with school reps and local officers as a means of informing decisions about a robust and appropriate union response. 

On behalf of the NEU Northern Regional Council, I wish you a relaxing half-term and look forward to working with you to meet the multiple challenges we anticipate over the next few weeks and months.

Best wishes

Regional Secretary