28 March 2020


Join Andrew Morris and Jayne Phillips for our supply member telephone call arranged for next Monday. #coronavirusuk

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You are eligible for the Government pay protection schemes.
NEU, NAHT and ASCL joint advice says schools should not sack supply teachers now most schools are closed.

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20 March 2020

Coronavirus - stay up to date


With schools closing their doors this afternoon to most of their pupils, we're sure you've got lots of questions and concerns. If you've not already, check out the dedicated NEU web pages which are full of advice, Q&As and information for school leaders. The situation is developing very quickly and we are making it a priority to keep this we page as current as possible.

Northern Regional Office
We are taking measures here at the office to ensure that we follow as closely as possible Government advice.  We would appreciate your help in that should you require advice or assistance you communicate with us via email (northern@neu.org.uk)  in the first instance. Of course, should the matter be extremely urgent you can still reach us by the usual phone number (0191 482 7700). 

AdviceLine remains open
If you have checked the advice on the website but still have some questions, you can still get in touch with our AdviceLine which remains open. You can telephone or email but please remember that due to the current situation the team may take longer to answer or reply but we endeavour to respond to everyone: neu.org.uk/employment-adviceline. Please do check the website before getting in touch - a large number of calls are asking questions that appear in our Coronavirus FAQs on the website. 

Stay safe. Be kind.
The NEU Northern Team

19 March 2020

NEU - winning on PRP

You may have read in Educate magazine recently that a growing number of MATS are abolishing performance related pay in respect of teachers.   Now Northern Education Trust, who are the largest MAT in the North East and Cumbria have abolished PRP, which NEU feels is a major development in improving the working lives of teachers.

NEU has produced a short 3 minute film in partnership with Northern Education Trust in the region outlining why they have undertook such a decision and the positive impact on NEU members and leaders within the Trust.  The film is available here via YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxPYWHK3NSc&t=5s

In addition to abolishing PRP, Northern Education Trust have also introduced ‘live marking’ and also cut the number of performance management related lesson observations down to one 15 minute observation a year, provided the teacher is not on any kind of support/improvement plan.  The move to ‘live marking’ and away from lesson observations and PRP has massively reduced stress and workload for NEU members, and school leaders within NET. 

Rather than sitting at home marking books till late in the evening, teachers are able to give instant feedback and respond to what students have done in class. NEU members feel very strongly that the change has improved their workload, wellbeing and their teaching, as well as the learning of pupils.  Northern Education Trust is happy because pupils are learning well and making good progress.

Many respected education professionals now think that PRP will not improve educational standards or outcomes.  OECD research on the impact of PRP in teaching has concluded that “the overall picture reveals no relationship between average student performance in a country and the use of performance-based pay schemes.” A wide range of other research including from the USA and Portugal has suggested that PRP has no overall impact on achievement or may even reduce it.  Leaders and academics now feel that PRP also undermines and disrupts effective school improvement.  It encourages teachers to work in isolation, rather than pooling their expertise.  Schools are learning communities - good teachers build their students’ achievement on foundations laid by other teachers and support staff.  NEU views that teachers and support staff work best when they work collaboratively.

PRP often leads to discriminatory outcomes.  The European Commission’s 2014 paper, Tackling the gender pay gap in the European Union recognises that PRP contributes to unequal pay between men and women – a link also identified by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).  Whilst male and female teachers are both likely to be disadvantaged by PRP, the evidence suggests that female teachers are even more likely to be disadvantaged than their male counterparts.  It is the NEU view that PRP is an unnecessary and bureaucratic burden.  It ties up school leaders and governors in lengthy discussions and time-consuming appeals - diverting time away from the key challenges of securing improvements in teaching and learning.

In a survey of over 25,000 teachers undertaken by the NEU during January/February of this year, we found that over two-thirds of teachers (70%) have considered quitting the profession over low pay and lack of pay progression. 

This year, for the first time, the school leader associations ASCL and NAHT have both joined NEU in stating their opposition to the performance-based pay progression system and are calling for its removal.  NAHT argues, as it has in previous years, that removal of certainty in pay progression is having a “profoundly negative impact” and that the PRP system is having “significant negative consequences” for the profession.  ASCL reviews the case against PRP and says that it has now concluded that “the performance related element of the pay system needs to be removed … at the earliest opportunity”. 

There is growing evidence of a general move away from PRP by academy employers, who are not statutorily obliged to follow the requirements of the STPCD, including major multi academy trusts (MATs).  This confirms the growing attitude among school leaders reflected in the views of ASCL and NAHT.  MATs which have already confirmed that they are moving away from PRP include EACT, the Northern Education Trust, the Focus Academy Trust and the Education Alliance.   

Having seen others do it, a significant number of other MATs are now moving away from PRP within the North East and Cumbria. If you work in an academy school, speak to your NEU rep, and hold a meeting of NEU members in your schools, and if you wish to see the back of PRP, get in touch with your local branch. 

If your school does not have an NEU rep, don’t fear.  Hold a meeting to discuss PRP anyway, and why not elect a NEU rep at the same time. 

Members join NEU because they feel part of a collective which works to protect and improve their pay and conditions in their working lives. This is unlikely to happen without an organised approach for which we need workplace reps.

Anyone can become a NEU rep. As an education professional, you’re already doing a job that involves strong organisational skills, and these skills will undoubtedly help.  However, but the most important thing is that you’re familiar with the landscape of your workplace.  An active local NEU rep can make a real difference in schools and colleges by helping to:

  • protect people’s rights at work

  • encourage fairness in the workplace

  • promote a healthy and safe work environment

  • help people gain access to training and career development

  • recruit and inform new members

  • improve pay and conditions

NEU will give you all the training and support you need.  Contact us if you need more information or assistance.

NEU and a growing number of stakeholders strongly believe that performance-related pay in education has failed.  Help us to work with you and other NEU members in your school to eradicate it.