Hi Everyone.

The branch meeting took place at Moulsham Infants.
We discussed National Conference and all agreed it had been better than previous years. We all thought the presentation and quality of motions can still be improved. In the modern age it seems silly to talk through motions that can be read and voted upon before the conference starts. If presenters are to talk they should not over-run.
We all wished more debate and to come away with more to help us in the day to day job. The workshops offered this but it would be good to have to discuss contentious or more challenging issues. The workshops seem to attract 'one view' that is elaborated on rather than a range or alternative actions.

We were all concerned regarding the number of staff leaving HQ. We hope this is coincidence and not the sings of an emerging problem. There is no doubt HQ is losing expertise, recruitment will have to be carefully managed if members are not to see an impact.

We discussed that one attendee has been driven out of their post. Although supported by NAHT, their position was untenable and they talked though how for their own well-being they needed to move on. This led us to discuss the challenges of small schools and falling budgets. The greatest saving is the Headteacher post and local communities would rather protect their school than worry about its status. This includes ensuring a teacher in every class rather than understanding the workload of Heads. NAHT is far to quiet on this. We wondered how much revenue NAHT would lose if every school under 270 pupils lost their Headteacher? Can NAHT afford to ignore this growing problem?

We were aware that a warning notice has been received but as yet we have not seen one to pass on to HQ.

We discussed the sad loss of our Essex Conference. With the restructure at HQ a support officer was appointed. They were due to manage this conference. No-one has heard from this individual despite constant attempts to contact them. It is now too late to organise our conference. This means we are likely to need to request funding from HQ for the first time in years.

Branch Meetings were discussed. We would like to have meetings in different schools in Essex. The idea would be if we can get a local Headteacher to hold a meeting in their school, perhaps one in the North East (Colchester?), North West (Harlow?), Central (Chelmsford), South West (Basildon) and South East (Rayleigh) we could develop a local understanding of what is happening in Essex. Those running the meeting could post to the Google site if the NAHT email system is too unstable to relay information. This would mean six branch meetings. Some thought this would be too much. An option of leaving branch meetings at three and optional single focus meetings in different areas was considered. These might involve speakers, either local or from other branches. I would be interested in members views. We understand it is difficult to make another meeting but with Essex having a consistently high number of Headteachers moving on, your union is the only body that can legally support.

Members can always contact me at Rayleigh primary School if they wish to talk things through on any matter. 01245 775712

Peter

Dear All,

With the passing of the Education and Adoption Act, is there anyone who feels they need to discuss the implications of this paper and the new guidelines for LAs to intervene?

Pete

Russell has signed off a comment on the expected parents’ boycott of SATs, scheduled for Tuesday 3 May.
This comment has not been released widely to the media but has just been given to the Daily Mirror.
I’m sharing it here because you may find it useful, either in your conversations with parents or if you are grabbed by a local journalist.
If you have any queries or you would like further support from the press team, please drop me a line.

Steven George - NAHT Press Team

Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT said: "It's clear that parents are upset with SATs this year. Although we want to see children in school, head teachers understand the strength of that feeling and share the frustration that SATs have become little more than a box ticking exercise for bureaucrats. At best they're a snapshot of a child's ability on one day. What parents and teachers favour instead is a 'little and often' approach to tests. Let's not forget that these children can be as young as six and ten. Trust the teachers in the classroom to know their pupils and talk to parents about what they have achieved and what help they need.

"The government likes SATs because they allow them to rank schools against each other. Many parents don’t really value this kind of information, especially when choosing a school for their kids. They're much more likely to visit the school or speak to other parents. Testing and assessment are important but have to be helpful to those who care most about children. We've asked for the government to sit down with NAHT and others to talk about a way forward for next year. Nobody wants to see a repeat of this year's chaos."

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How to use the community.

+1 means the equivalent of like in Facebook.
The little speech bubble adds a comment under the main post.
The big circle at the bottom right of the screen, (green for me) allows you to post.
You can add photos (camera icon), website (link icon) or share your location (google maps icon).

NAHT Tools.
New school graphic organised in regions.
New NAHT Policy Guide - A to Z of NAHT positions.
Campaign Guides - Headlines and bottom lines to use in branches to promote NAHT actions.
This will give both central and local guidelines for branch officials to promote to members.
New summary documents on the white paper coming out after conference.

Hi Everybody,

Glad to see that people can join.
I know it is a vain hope but I thought this might be a good forum to share problems, ideas and solutions.
I hope it might allow some more local meetings outside NAHT Branch that can bring agenda items to our Branch.

So, to start the ball rolling!

Conference has a real feeling of anger about assessment, forced academy and funding. The mood is for some form of industrial action if we do not get satisfaction from government.

I'm sure you will have heard Nicky Morgan restated that all schools will be academies, assessment will continue to toughen and made the comment no good small rural school will close. What about those not good!

NAHT Dates.

Branch Meetings
Next Branch 23rd February 2016.

Essex Meetings
15th March JCC - County Hall
17th March Region - Cambridge
9th June Region - Cambridge
21st June JCC - County Hall
29th September Region - Cambridge
10th November Region - Cambridge

Branch Secretary Jobs.

Admin.
Attend training sessions in Haywards Heath - casework, press, use of email etc.
Emails from HQ – read - look at attached documents - forward to members as appropriate.
Emails from LA – re. meetings, advanced copies of policy documents etc.
Policy documents – read and respond to LA.
Send Council Member’s reports to members.
Keep membership database up to date – a big job! Inform HQ of any changes. Advise members to notify HQ of changes. Send reminders about this towards the end of each term.
Complete annual Branch audit of members (December).
Send welcome letters to new members.

Contact Support For Members.
Advice to members by phone, email or in person.
Emails from members – varies but usually 3 - 4 per week which require answers
Section 188 notices – check whether members are involved – check if help needed.
Attend meetings re. academisation etc..
Deal with Press, radio etc. on occasions.

Branch Organisation
Arrange Branch Meetings - book venues.
Provide and distribute agendas for Branch meetings.
Remind members of meetings.
Keep attendance and apologies lists and attend Branch meetings.
Check, revise and format minutes of meetings and send to members.
Keep record of minutes.
Find, inform, organise delegates to Annual National Conference

Essex Duties.
Attend County secretaries meetings – termly.
Local JCC (should be attended by others now but I have always had to fill in).
Regional Meetings (5 per year) in Cambridge.
Organise the odd Conference!

NAHT Conferences

New Head Teachers’ Conference, 18 Mar and 20 May 2016, London and Manchester
Special School Conference, 10/11 March 2016, The Hinckley Island Hotel, Leicester
Inspiring Leadership Conference, 15-17 June 2016, Birmingham
SBM, 22 June 2016, Birmingham
Education Conference, 14 October 2016, Manchester
Education Conference, 18 November 2016, London
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