Sunday, 18 May 2014

#StandUp4Edu Roundup

I figured it was about time to update on recent Stand Up for Education activities.  Since the Easter holidays, Oxfordshire NUT has been out every weekend with a different event.

26th April - Folk Weekend Oxford
This year, we sponsored the Family Festival at Folk Weekend Oxford and took along Stand Up for Education material.  We signed up 58 new supporters.  A fuller report is available here.  Here are some of our volunteer stewards, along with my daughter Rosa who loved the family ceilidh! (a big thanks to Donald, Chris, Ian, Mike Steve & Zoe for helping out):

3rd May - Oxford May Day
Stand Up for Education supporters were out in force for this year's May Day March & Rally and the march was led by a samba band of children and parents in green Stand Up for Education T-Shirts.  Christine Blower from the NUT spoke at the start of the march and we signed up 34 new supporters for the campaign.

10th May - Cycling Leaflet-Drop
On 10th May, Donald organised a leaflet drop on wheels around Oxford.  You can now find out more about the Stand Up for Education Campaign at the following places:

And these libraries:

17th May - Levellers Day
An important local labour movement celebration in the beautiful surroundings of Burford.  Our Stand Up for Education campaigners were on the march again!  We signed up 45 new supporters and lots of people left personal messages for Michael Gove.  Here are some of them:

All over Oxfordshire, people are Standing Up for Education!  Why not sign up and become one of them?

Sunday, 27 April 2014

#StandUp4Edu at Folk Weekend Oxford

This weekend, Oxfordshire NUT continued our weekly Stand Up for Education stalls in a new and different way.

We were proud to be the sponsors of the Folk Weekend Oxford 'Family Festival'.  We supported the 'Offshoots' schools concerts, where children from Windmill, St Andrews, Wolvercote, Marsh Baldon, Garsington and West Kidlington Primary Schools performed, and also the excellent family Ceilidh with the superb What's up Folk! from John Mason School.

The events were stewarded by Oxfordshire NUT volunteers who also had Stand Up for Education material available:

Over the weekend, 58 new supporters signed up to the campaign and many more took away information.  Most importantly, it was a great showcase for talented young musicians from Oxfordshire's schools.

Well done to all involved!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Stand Up for Education (Wheatley Park)

NUT members from Wheatley Park were joined by colleagues from John Watson School to discuss the upcoming Strike Action on 26th March. Many teachers were still teaching or unable to attend due to the demands of paperwork – a vivid illustration of pressure teachers are under and of the hours they are working. Colleagues discussed the background of the action and celebrated the recent successes – the findings of the STRB and the publication of the Working time survey – both in direct response to union action.

Members went on to discuss our action next month, not only is it justified but it is also very well timed – now is a very good time to be applying pressure on a weakened secretary of state – it was stressed that strike action will only be effective if it is accompanied by lobbying of politicians and backed up by support form parents and communities. Members were urged to write to their MPs, to talk to parents and carers and to urge them to sign the petition to ‘Stand Up for Education’.


Stand Up for Education (Henley)

Really good meeting tonight in the Henley cluster. We discussed how we can build in our individual workplaces for the strike as well as the importance of keeping the pressure on after Michael Gove suffered the set back of the STRB report. We also discussed the support we have in the public and how we can get parents and communities involved. To do this, we are going to be leafleting in Henley on the 15th of March, meeting at the Town Hall at 11am.  All local teachers are welcome to join us.


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Stand Up for Education (St John's, Banbury)

NUT members from several Banbury schools met at St John's RC Primary on Thursday February 27th.
Those present discussed the proposed changes to teachers' pay and conditions and their likely effect on teachers' workload and professional relationships.
We also talked about effective communication with parents and others as to the consequences if the changes go through.
Discussion then moved on to the importance of organisation and representation at school level, building informal local support networks and using these to exchange experience and ideas.
The meeting lasted about an hour. Thanks are due to St John's Headteacher Kevin Griffiths and his staff for their warm and generous hospitality.


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Stand Up for Education (Cheney)

Great meeting this afternoon at Cheney School.  Strong support for the campaign from the 25-30 teachers present.  In particular, a number of younger teachers commented on the importance of making the campaign about education, not just pay, pensions and workload.  It is not that teachers don't care about these issues - many at the meeting said the workload was almost unbearable - but that they care even more deeply about the quality of education their students receive.

The parent leaflets were very well received, as was the focus on engaging parents, pressuring politicians and strike action on 26th March.  A number of teachers have signed up for local leafleting and lobbying meetings with their MP.

All in all, a good start to the campaign.  This is the first of a number of meetings (nearly 20 now - 16 below, more to be announced).

Looking forward to getting to more schools over the coming weeks and meeting more NUT members.


Stand Up for Education: Your nearest meeting

Over the next few weeks, we will be attempting the biggest series of NUT meetings in Oxfordshire for some time.

So far, we have 16 meetings set up and more in the pipeline.

I hope that you can join us at your nearest meeting.  If there is not one near you, get in touch and lets set one up at your school or in your local area.