Childcare Disqualification

  • Advice for any member who has concerns about the declaration process is available elsewhere on this website-see previous news items and media archive pages– and further advice is available from the AdviceLine at Where a school is issuing an inappropriate declaration form, the NUT representative can raise the matter, pointing to the new government guidance which does not require that such a form is used.
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Workload Challenge

The Government’s announcement in response to its workload challenge consultation is bitterly disappointing.

Visit “” to see the Government’s announcement, the NUT’s ‘Eight Steps’ to reduce workload, and an NUT comparison of how the Government’s response measures up to the Eight Steps.

What you can do

  • Email your Prospective Parliamentary Candidates to tell them about the issues of excessive workload and the NUT’s suggested Eight Steps to reduce it.
  • Tweet #TellNicky we are losing far too many good teachers and she should support the NUT’s Eight Steps
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Stand up for Education-Stand up for Teachers campaign

Stand up for Education Petition

The NUT’s new Stand up for Education petition has been launched, with backing from the author Michael Rosen.  Associations and divisions should by now have received multiple copies of the petition and an updated manifesto.  An online version of the petition is available at “”.  Members were emailed about the petition earlier in the week.  Please do encourage people to sign the petition and to share it on social media.

Reclaiming Schools – The Evidence and Arguments

A new pamphlet written by a network of academics that support the Stand Up for Education campaign has been published on the NUT’s website. Reclaiming schools sets out the evidence and arguments in support of the manifesto, with each chapter addressing a different heading.  It can be downloaded on the National NUT homepage: “”.

The pamphlet will be a useful resource for Education Question Times and any other relevant events where the Union is seeking to engage teachers, parents and other allies in the Stand Up for Education campaign.

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New Guidance on Childcare Disqualification

NUT wins significant improvements on guidance on childcare disqualification

The DfE last night published revised statutory guidance on childcare disqualification.  It is called ‘Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 – February 2015’ and is available at (SEE FULL DOCUMENT ON MEDIA PAGES, under HELP and ADVICE)

We are pleased that the NUT’s legal challenge, which the DfE were keen to ensure the Union would not revive, has prompted significant improvements.

What has been improved?

The revised guidance now clarifies that:

  • In a school setting, only staff providing early years provision during school hours and those providing later years provision outside school hours fall within the scope of the Childcare Act.
  • It is not necessary for schools to ask staff to complete a self-declaration form.  They may use other, less intrusive means to determine whether a member of staff is or may be disqualified by association (refer to paras 20 to 23).
  • Employers should avoid asking for “unrelated or spent convictions of household members”.In the meantime, divisions may use the guidance to persuade employers not to apply intrusive and unnecessary processes to staff.  Employers could, for example, include a section in school safeguarding policies which draw the statutory guidance to the attention of staff.
  • We will be producing some additional guidance very shortly on this and will alert divisions in the next e-bulletin to further progress.
  • There is still a lot that is not clear, for example, what is meant by ‘household’ in relation to disqualification by association and we continue to press a number of issues with Ministers.   In addition, our overall objective remains to remove schools from the ambit of the legislation.  Although this is sensitive, in particular near to the general election, we continue to press the DfE for assurances on repeal of this part of the legislation.
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Stand up for Education-Stand up for Teachers Campaign


Campaign Update

The Executive agreed the next steps in the campaign at their meeting yesterday, as follows:

  • Given the circumstances above, do not call for further national strike action prior to the General Election;
  • Urge all members to contact candidates in the General Election asking them to support our ‘eight points on workload’;
  • Piloting the promotion of the Manifesto in the Loughborough constituency (Nicky Morgan’s seat) with a national day of action on Saturday, 18 April where teachers, parents and campaigners will speak to constituents about Standing up for Education; an approach to be considered for roll out to other key marginals at the next Executive meeting;
  • Continue to give publicity to the joint union letter in response to the workload challenge;
  • Launch a petition based on the Manifesto with the support of Michael Rosen and others;
  • Seek meetings with main political parties in the run up to General Election to discuss our ‘eight points’ and the joint letter as well as our manifesto;
  • Work with other teacher unions and with academics to put forward a critique of the current accountability system and present possible alternatives;
  • Work with other teacher unions on methods by which workload could be reduced including model work-life balance policies – aiming to take advantage of the Ofsted clarification and Annexe C;
  • Bring to a future Executive, plans for encouraging all school and college groups to near simultaneously take forward workload actions;
  • Continue to urge school and college groups to take up workload issues, including through ASOS, escalation of ASOS and otherwise; and
  • Reflect further following debate and discussion at Annual Conference.The NUT has updated its Manifesto for Education. A single copy including endorsements will be sent to each school next week, along with three copies of our new petition and other materials. Every member will also receive a copy of the manifesto and the petition with their Teacher magazine. Associations and divisions will be sent multiple copies of the petition and an updated manifesto next week. The petition will be launched online next week and members will be emailed to ask them to sign it, and to encourage others to. Additional copies of either document can be ordered by mailing Street StallsPlease let us have details of stalls you arrange by adding details via Survey Monkey.  We will use the information to publicise your stall on the website and social mediaEducation Question Times and hustings of parliamentary candidates are being organised up and down the country.  A list of planned events is available here.  If there are events planned which are not on the list, please send the details through to
  • General Election – Education Question Times & Hustings
  • As the General Election approaches, we hope that many more street stalls will be organised to engage with parents and the general public. As well as being an excellent way to hand out copies of the NUT manifesto and talk to people about what’s in it, the street stalls you plan will also be a good way to gather signatures for the manifesto petition which is to be launched next week.
  • Local officers are clearly adopting many different and exciting ways to promote the Manifesto.  In Warrington and Blackburn and Darwen, the Manifesto has been delivered with the local free papers (for a small fee).  We will continue to publicise all your great ideas on the Manifesto section of the website.
  • New, updated Manifesto for Education and petition
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Childcare (Disqualification)Regulations 2009 : Important Concessions Won By NUT


Union wins concessions on disqualification by Association Guidance

The Union’s threat to challenge the DfE’s supplementary advice on the Childcare Disqualification legislation and its application to schools in the High Court has successfully drawn concessions from the Government who are now proposing changes to the guidance.

The supplementary advice was published on www.Gov.UK in October last year, with no warning and no consultation with the relevant trade unions, causing widespread confusion and concern.  Despite this, the Union was able to initiate legal proceedings before the Christmas break, challenging the DfE’s interpretation of the legislation.

As a result of the NUT’s challenge, the DfE conceded last week that:

  1. the legislation applies only to those who work in nursery and reception, or who supervise activities outside school hours involving children under 8 years old;
  2. enquiries about individuals living in a teacher’s household should be restricted only to those falling within the scope of the legislation
  3. teachers correctly identified as falling within the scope of the legislation should not be asked to disclose the ‘spent’ convictions or cautions of people in their household.

We have agreed not to pursue the Judicial Review if these concessions are included in revised guidance to schools and local authorities.  The DfE has now agreed to a specific meeting with the Union in addition to a round of stakeholder discussions, the last of which will be held on 27 January 2015.  We have brought together other organisations who are supporting our position, and it is intended that a common position will be put forward on the content of updated guidance.

Our aim in the long run is to seek to change the relevant legislation.  In the meantime, we are seeking that the Government amends the guidance to advise schools how to implement the legislation in a proportionate way, placing lowest level of burden possible on schools and teachers and providing advice and assistance to enable members return to work where they have been wrongly identified as ‘disqualified’ and suspended as a consequence.



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Teachers’ Pension Scheme-Career Average Scheme: April 2015 Switchover



A huge shake-up in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme is happening this April as the switch begins from ‘final salary’ to ‘career average’ pensions. The NUT continues to oppose these changes because they will make teachers pay more, work longer and get less in retirement. But the necessary legislative changes have been made and the reforms are happening. You need to know how the changes will affect you.


Summary of post-2015 TPS Career Average Pension

The key issues on teachers’ pensions are unchanged. The Government still wants teachers to pay more – the average contribution for teachers is now 9.6 per cent – 50 per cent higher than in March 2012. The Government still wants teachers to work longer – from 2015, the “normal pension age” (when teachers can take their pension in full) will begin to rise, eventually reaching 68 or perhaps even higher. And the Government still wants teachers to get less, both when they retire, due to a move to ‘career average’ pensions, and during retirement, due to lower annual pension increases.


These are key points of the new career average scheme from April 2015 onwards:


  • a career average basis for the scheme;
  • an increase in the normal pension age (the age at which pensions can be taken in full), so that for future accrual the normal pension age would be equal to state pension age of up to 68 or even higher;
  • an accrual rate of 1/57th of pay per year of service (up from 1/60);
  • accrued benefits for serving members of the scheme to be re-valued annually in line with CPI inflation plus 1.6 per cent (down from national average earnings);
  • accrued pension rights (built up under the pre-2015 final salary scheme) will be protected;
  • transitional protection for members close to normal pension age (see below)
  • pensions in payment to be increased each year in line with CPI inflation;
  • slightly improved early retirement terms for those with pension ages beyond 65 who retire between 65 and that age.


The Government has made these proposals to save on costs, not to improve the terms of teachers’ pensions.


Working longer

The new scheme links the TPS normal pension age (the age at which teachers can get their teachers’ pension in full) to the State pension age. All pension rights accrued in future could only be taken in full at this new higher normal pension age. Retiring earlier would only be possible on a reduced pension. Subject to transitional protection arrangements (see below) this means that:


  • All teachers currently aged under 37 would have to work until age 68 for a full pension.
  • Anyone aged 37 to 53 would have to work to 67
  • Anyone aged 54 to 57 would have to work to 66If the State pension age rises in future, the age at which teachers can get their teachers’ pension in full will rise too. The Chancellor has already signalled that this will rise to 69 for those retiring in the late 2040s. The Pensions Act 2014 will provide for a review of the State pension age every five years. The first review would take place by May 2017. Younger teachers will not know in future precisely when they will be able to retire. What is career average?   This depends on your age on 1 April 2012 and your current TPS pension age. There are three possibilities:Within ten years of your pension age   (i.e. 46½ – 50 if your current TPS pension age is 60 or 51½ – 55 if it is 65)You’ll stay in your current final salary scheme under current rules after 1 April 2015 for a limited period but will be switched over in the future. The older you are, the more protection you have. See the chart below for when you’ll be switched.
  • Up to a further 3½ years away
  • If you’re in this position you don’t have to worry about a higher scheme pension age but you are already paying a higher contribution rate than you paid pre-April 2012.
  • You stay in your current final salary scheme provided that you stay in teaching without a break of five years or more. This applies even if you work past scheme retirement age.
  • (i.e. 50 or over if your current TPS pension age is 60 or 55 or over if it is 65)
  • When will I be switched to career average?
  • In theory, career average can be better for the few teachers who don’t get promotion during their careers, but here the Government is using career average as a way to cut pensions for most of us.
  • The NUT’s previous strike action secured improvements in this area. The Government increased the proposed pension accrual rate from an initial accrual rate of 1/65th to 1/60th and finally 1/57th of annual salary. This was, however, offset to some extent by the accompanying reduction in the revaluation rate. The amount of pension accrued each year will be revalued each year until retirement in line with Consumer Prices Index inflation + 1.6 per cent. This is expected to be below national average earnings increases.
  • Career average is a way of calculating how much pension you will get. At the moment, the Teachers’ Pension Scheme is based on ‘final salary’ – where your pension is based on your salary at or near retirement. Under career average, pension is based on your salary over the whole of your career.
Scheme pension age 60 Scheme pension age 65
Age at April 2012 Switch to new scheme Age at April 2012 Switch to new scheme
50 Stays in FS scheme 55 Stays in FS scheme
49½ 58½ (April 2021) 54½ 63½   (April 2021)
49 57  (April 2020) 54 62 (April 2020)
48½ 55½ (April 2019) 53½ 60½  (April 2019)
48 54 (April 2018) 53 59 (April 2018)
47½ 52½  (April 2017) 52½ 57½  (April 2017)
47 51 (April 2016) 52 56 (April 2016)
46½ April 2015 (no protection) 51½ April 2015 (no protection)


Everyone else

You’ll go straight into the career average scheme in April 2015 – with the pension you earn from April only accessible in full at your state pension age (which could be 67, 68 or even higher in future)


How does career average work?

Teachers in the career average scheme will build up pension at 1/57 of their pensionable earnings each year. So, if your pensionable earnings are £28,500, you’ll build up £500 of pension for that year. From April 2015, overtime will be included in the definition of pensionable pay. These terms are better than the Government originally offered – as a result of NUT members’ action.


This pension is then increased each year until retirement. The annual increase before you retire for teachers who stay in teaching is Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation + 1.6 per cent. This is slightly less than the expected long-term growth in average earnings. If a teacher leaves service before retirement and doesn’t return within five years, the ‘banked’ pension is just increased with CPI.


Each year is essentially treated as a separate unit, and at retirement, it’s all added together to form your total pension. Once the pension is in payment, it just increases annually with CPI.


In the final salary scheme, the pay you get in the early years of your career doesn’t matter for pension purposes if you stay in teaching. Under career average, every month’s pay throughout your career will decide your pension. The growing fragmentation of the school system means a growing number of small employers, and more changes of employer for teachers over their careers. These are perfect conditions for mistakes to be made.


What do I have to do?

Keep every payslip! Payslips are the main evidence members will have to challenge errors in their records. It’s vital to keep payslips and other salary records (like P60s).


Most teachers will get a statement every year showing the earnings information provided to Teachers’ Pensions by your employer. Teachers registered with Teachers’ Pensions’ MyPensionOnline service will be informed that the relevant information is online.


It’s important that you check this information and correct it if necessary. It’s easier to sort problems out at the time rather than close to retirement.


What happens to my final salary pension?

If you’re switched, you’ll have a “split pension record”. Part of your pension will be from the new career average scheme and part will be from your existing final salary scheme. Your final salary pension will be based on your salary when you leave teaching (or the period leading up to it), not your salary in 2015.


You can in theory take your final salary pension in full at your scheme pension age (either 60 or 65). But you will have to end your contract to get it.


Do I have to take both pensions at once?

If you take your final salary pension at or beyond your final salary scheme pension age, you can take the two parts separately.


If you take your final salary pension before your final salary scheme pension age, you have to take your career average pension rights as well. This would mean a large actuarial reduction in most cases.


Contribution rates from April 2015

There are also big changes in the contribution structure from April. Teachers will still pay an average 9.6 per cent towards their pensions. However the TPS will have a six-tier contribution structure for both the career average and final salary sections (see table, below).


Salary Contribution Rate
£0 – £25,999 7.4%
£26,000 – £34,999 8.6%
£35,000 – £41,499 9.6%
£41,500 – £54,999 10.2%
£55,000 – £74,999 11.3%
£75,000+ 11.7%


A key point is that from April contributions will be paid on a member’s actual salary (currently contributions are calculated on the full-time equivalent salary). This is a gain for part-time employees, the majority of whom are women, and again was added to the scheme after our strike action.


Some members will pay less compared to the current eight-tier 2014-2015 structure while others will pay more. But all teachers are paying more compared to pre-April 2012 when teachers paid 6.4 per cent.


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South-East Region Young Teachers Conference: 6th/7th March 2015

South East Young Teachers Conference 201415 Newest  versionThis event is open to any NUT member, aged 35 or younger.

The general election in 2015 will be a watershed moment for education in England and Wales. In March, there will be two months to go, months in which we can take the fight forward and put pressure on MPs to stand up for education. It’s time to stand up. Come and discuss how we can make a difference at

South East Young Teachers Conference


The Old Ship Hotel, Brighton, BN1 1NR.

For more information, contact “” or phone :01444 8945oo

as soon as possible, as places are being filled quickly.

PLEASE NOTE: All costs for Conference and travel are covered by South East Regional Office !


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NUT Young Teachers’ Conference : 12th-14th June 2015

The Annual Young Teachers Conference will be held from Friday 12 June – Sunday 14 June 2015 at the NUT’s training and conference centre, Stoke Rochford Hall, near Grantham, in Lincolnshire.
The 10th YTC theme is “Working Together, Working to Win”.  The conference provides an opportunity for young teachers to meet and network with other young teachers from across England and Wales and to become more active within the Union.  The keynote speaker this year will be columnist and author Owen Jones.  We suspect that the places will go quickly.

Surrey Division young teacher members should contact Division Secretary, Fred Greaves, “”,as soon as possible, if they wish to apply, so that we can consider financial support.

The conference is open to all in-service NUT members aged 35 or under. Student members of the NUT are not eligible to attend.

Participants who meet the above criteria may be nominated by local associations and divisions or they may apply as individual members.

The Conference fee is £295 per person , however, early booking discount fee of £275 will be payable if application form is received by 27 March 2015. The fee includes accommodation on Friday and Saturday nights and meals from Saturday breakfast up to and including Sunday lunch. Cheques should be made payable to the National Union of Teachers and send to

Young Teachers’ Section
National Union of Teachers
Hamilton House, Mabledon House
London WC1H 9BD.

A personal delegate deposit of £40.00 is required from an applicant and this is refunded at the end of the conference. Payment can be made by cheque or by credit/debit card form.

Places at the Conference are limited. Your place at the conference will be booked once we have received:

• Your application form
• The conference fee from your Association or Division
• Your personal deposit (by debit or credit card or cheque)

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 April 2015

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