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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Sir David Bell on political interference in education.

9 January 2015

Responding to the former Chief Inspector of Schools’ comments on the impact of continual political interference by Government in education, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Much of what David Bell is saying reflects what is stated in the NUT Manifesto for Education (1). For far too long education policy has been driven by narrow political agendas, often ignoring all advice from the teaching profession. The Government defines educational success in dangerously narrow terms, and punishes the teachers, schools and students who do not attain it. Government could do much better in terms of enabling creative education and allowing schools to engage children’s interest in learning.

“The use of unqualified teachers and promoting the training of teachers on the job through the ‘Schools Direct’ route is all about cost-cutting and nothing to do with standards. Parents and pupils are being short changed and this is a practice that should end.

“The NUT agrees that schools cannot be run from Whitehall. It is vain and foolhardy to miscalculate the complexity, skills and involvement needed to run schools the length and breadth of England.

“There is also a real danger, to which David Bell points to, of losing University expertise in teacher education. This is very foolhardy at a time of growing concern over the possibility of teacher shortage.

“We urgently need to see a return of all state funded schools to local authority oversight and for the views of the teaching profession to be taken into account when reforms are being made.”

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Look out for your ballot paper and make sure you vote in this important election !

  • Starts Monday 5th January 2015
  • Closes Monday 26th January 2015


Kevin Courtney blog on workload

A few weeks ago NUT Deputy General Secretary,   Kevin Courtney, was invited to write about teacher  workload for the Daily Telegraph website.

Kevin’s article has been “shared” 59,000 times on Facebook, which is astonishing, and it has received thousands of favourable comments

You can read the article here    and then share with friends and colleagues.

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URGENT: MATERNITY MATTERS: December 2014 edition


“Maternity Matters” is the NUT’s guide to teachers’ maternity rights.  It aims to explain, as simply as possible, the various maternity and parental rights available to all teachers, whether full or part time.    


The main provisions governing the rights of women teachers to maternity leave and pay are set out in the Burgundy Book, the national agreement on teachers’ conditions of service in England and Wales.  The statutory scheme runs parallel to the Burgundy Book scheme.  Significant improvements have been achieved by the Union in negotiations with a number of local education authorities at local level.


It is impossible in this guidance to anticipate every potential question about maternity entitlement.  Reading the guidance will, however, answer the majority of the questions you are likely to have.  If any aspect remains unclear, members in England should contact the NUT AdviceLine on 020 3006 6266 or email (contact details set out at Appendix B).  Members in Wales should contact NUT Cymru on 029 2049 1818 or email


If you are taking maternity or adoption leave, or changing your hours for a different reason, please contact Membership and Subscriptions to up-date your details as reduced subscriptions may apply. Call 020 7380 6366 or email




General Secretary

For the full document: please download from “Media Archive Page” !





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NUT in 2014 : This is what has happened this year !



  • NUT publishes YouGov survey which gives damning verdict on Gove.
  • Gove declares that he is at war with teacher unions.


  • STRB rejects Gove’s proposals on 1265 hours.
  • NUT launches social media campaign to get DfE workload survey published.
  • Government bows to NUT pressure and publishes DfE workload survey


  • Stand Up for Education street stalls take place all over the country.
  • NUT takes national strike action on its own for first time.
  • Kevin Courtney humiliates David Laws on Sky TV


  • NUT Conference agrees Engage – Pressure – Strike strategy.
  • NUT Conference agrees to another national strike in the summer term.
  • NUT Conference agrees to consult members on further strike action.
  • NUT Conference agrees to hold a lobby of Parliament.
  • NUT Conference agrees to launch a Manifesto for Education.


  • Union announces date for further strike action.
  • NUT local associations prepare for lobby of Parliament.
  •  In local constituencies NUT local associations start building for strike action.


  • Hundreds of streets stalls take place all over the country.
  • NUT members lobby MPs in Parliament and in local constituencies.
  •  NUT has large contingent on People’s Assembly demonstration in London.


  • NUT takes part in co-ordinated strike action with other unions.
  • Gove says that NUT does not have children’s interests at heart.
  • Gove is sacked !!


  • NUT confirmed as the only teacher union to report membership growth in 2013.
  • Manifesto for Education drawn up.
  • NUT prepares for major consultation with members.



  • Manifesto for Education launched.
  • Major consultation with members begins.
  • NUT conducts snap workload survey of members.
  • Nicky Morgan tells Tory Party conference that teacher workload is too high.
  • Nicky Morgan tells Woman’s Hour that she is committed to reducing teacher workload.


  • ‪#‎TellNicky is top of UK twitter trends.
  • Manifesto for Education wins backing from key people across world of education.
  • Associations start work on getting the Manifesto out to the public.
  • Ofsted publish “myth-busting” clarifications.Nicky Morgan says it must bring down workload.
  • Government announces major consultation and review of teacher workload

TO BE CONTINUED………..                               

******  TO VIEW THIS AS A POSTER (and download )

           see “Media Archive Page *********


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Executive News from Jackie Baker: Executive Member for Surrey and West Sussex


The Deputy General Secretary reported that in response to the NUT’s campaigning, Nicky Morgan and Nick Clegg have announced a “workload challenge” consultation. More than 29,000 teachers have already responded to the survey, which closes on November 21st.

Nicky Morgan and Nick Clegg  have promised to put forward proposals that  will reduce teacher workload in the New Year. It was acknowledged that if they are to convince teachers that this is more than a cynical election ploy, there will have to be real movement and this must be based on professional respect, not ,for example, on the introduction of standardized commercial lesson plans.

The actions agreed by the Executive could reduce excessive hours quickly, in some cases with little or no cost. However the roots of the workload problem were deep, and fundamental actions are required by Government.  It was noted that the action points should apply to all state funded schools and colleges, whatever their status and should be implemented in consultation and negotiation with the teacher organizations.  The Executive agreed an Action Programme which will be publicised to all members and local officers.

Personally, I feel that unless the workload challenge is going to lead to a proper reform of the values underpinning this high stakes, market orientated system with its punitive inspection regime, we may face find ourselves facing a tinkering around the edges, which does not resolve the underlying problems at the heart of the system

Let’s hope that this is really a genuine move by the government to begin wholesale reform.



The chairperson of the Action Sub-Committee, Jerry Glazier, reported on the latest in the case of Julie Davies, the Haringey NUT Secretary, who had been suspended by the local authority.  A number of schools in the borough were supporting a ballot for sustained strike action in opposition to the local authority’s actions and one school had taken action the previous day. The Daily Mail printed a very unfair portrayal of Julie on Wednesday 12th of November on its front page, which seemed to me part of a nasty smear campaign.



Heather McKenzie was elected as the Union’s nominee to the TUC Women’s Committee.   Heather will join Marilyn Bater, Philipa Harvey, Anne Lemon and Jane Nellist as delegates to the TUC Women’s Conference due to take place 11 to 13 March 2015.  The Executive agreed the text of two motions to the TUC Women’s Conference on the subjects of Achieving a Work-life Balance and Working through the Menopause. 




The Executive agreed a response to the London Assembly Education Panel’s report on London Learners; London Lives.  The response particularly highlighted the need for the Government to sufficiently fund local authorities to provide adequate school places and abandon the academy and free school approach which further fragmented the system and unnecessarily complicated the efficient planning of pupil places.



The Executive agreed two international motions for Annual Conference on International Solidarity and International Disability Rights.  Motions on Sex and Relationships Education and School Leadership were brought from the Education and Equalities Committee and agreed.  Finally, the Executive endorsed the text of a motion from the Salaries, Superannuation, Employment Conditions and Rights Committee on Supply Teachers.


The Organizing and Membership Committee agreed a paper on practical, preventative measures to support lay officers in their work on behalf of the Union, including training and support on team building at division level.



The Equalities sub committee discussed the Ofsted

New framework document: ‘Better Inspection For All’  at length. Primarily, the new framework will introduce shorter but more frequent inspections for good schools,

a common inspection framework for all stages in the system, a greater role for HMI and an abandonment of the outsourcing of inspection.

There will be greater emphasis on safeguarding, the suitability of the curriculum, and preparation for life and work.

Ofsted is consulting on this document ( please go to Ofsted website to express views online) , including whether there should be a separate inspection  judgement on the curriculum in Schools.

I voiced concerns that age related standards were still being used as a measurement to assess progress and that short inspections for good schools could lead to a data driven culture with the consequence of  exacerbating the already over bearing testing culture.

In addition, I also attended an NUT seminar on the new framework, where Mike Cladingbowl, National Director of Inspection Reform at Ofsted, was the keynote speaker.

He started his address by saying that he was in favour of a broad based education and he expressed a dislike of assessment becoming synonymous with accountability. I asked, in the Q and A session, how we were to avoid the narrowing of the curriculum, that seems to be happening in some schools, where Arts and Humanities  subjects such as MFL, Drama, Music,  History and Geography are  having curriculum time cut. The response was that government   should not   prescribe curriculum share for subjects but that the inspection framework was the way forward in encouraging the right balance.

I have concerns that this new framework does not go far enough in addressing these issues and that , in fact, a high stakes inspection regime, of itself, can provoke knee jerk reactions on curriculum content,, when the inspection  is based around a results driven culture.

I think we may be returning to a grammar school/ secondary modern situation in some parts of Surrey and West Sussex too, where some Schools are still offering a broad based curriculum and others are not.


Jackie Baker ( Executive member for Surrey and West Sussex.)




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