Why a move to MATs is not the answer

We all know that our local authority faces the challenge of continuing to deliver high quality education in the context of dramatic cuts in school funding and alongside a significant reduction in the Education Services Grant (ESG)

In this context some local authorities have begun to consider establishing alternative structures to support schools, and Barnsley is one of them!

The NUT believes that this will not avoid any of the problems associated with MATs described in the booklet below.

Furthermore this may result in more local schools being at risk of being forced into MATs by pushing the local authority further in the direction of being declare ‘unviable’.

Don’t ‘jump before being pushed’

The Local Government Association sent a letter to Labour Councillors with a clear message

“The first job we have as Labour Councillors is to get the message out that these changes are not inevitable and governing bodies should not rush to convert”

So Barnsley LABOUR Council have you been doing this?

Barnsley NUT will be handing the document below to our local Councillors today and we seek a meeting to discuss concerns raised by our members regarding MATs.


Barnsley Street Stall-Join us Saturday 1st October

Street Stall- from 11am near Boots, Barnsley Town Centre

Education for all our Children, Invest, don’t cut.

Grammar schools mean

Segregation at age 11

Selection for the few

rejection for the many

Barnsley NUT are utterly opposed to the suggested re-introduction of the Grammar school system. We are joining many local divisions of the NUT nationally, as we hold a street stall in Barnsley town centre to let the public know why we are against the grammar school system and why we welcome the opposition to this by the Labour Party.

The NUT are not affiliated to any political party but in the words of Kevin Courtney, The unions General Secretary

…”we will work with people of good will: for education to include all,

For schools and colleges to be funded properly,

For Government action to reduce poverty,

To bring back the EMA”


Forced Academisation by Stealth

Barnsley Council Forced Academisation By Stealth

On the 23rd of June the NUT met with Barnsley Council and were presented with documents proposing to “manage the transition from a mixed system of academy trust and maintained schools, to a predominantly academised system”

Whilst Barnsley NUT is committed to supporting and protecting its members who currently work in academies, we utterly oppose the Government’s aim that all schools in England should become academies by 2022. We also oppose the plan to ‘force’ all schools deemed to be ‘unviable’ or ‘underperforming’ to become academies.

Some members in Barnsley are dismayed that our Labour run council should also be seeking to facilitate the Government’s aim and we believe that instead Barnsley Council should be playing a key role in defending all maintained schools.

By acting NOW the council can identify schools that may be at risk of ‘coasting’ or ‘underperforming’ and support these schools to take action so they can demonstrate the required improvements without the need for an academy order.

Click the link below to read the full details of Barnsley Councils Proposals:


We want to hear your thoughts – have your say – this is your chance to influence the NUT’s response to Barnsley Council. To arrange for us to visit your school please contact us ASAP. The next meeting with Barnsley Council is on Wednesday 12th October.

Please complete our survey or contact us by email to tell us your opinions and we will share these at our next meeting with the council which is set for the 12th October 2016.

Primary Assessment Campaign

The Union is calling for a full review of curriculum and assessment in primary schools in England, with the suspension of current arrangements while the review is conducted to put an immediate halt to the damage being caused to children, teachers and schools.  If the DfE is unwilling to make the changes needed the executive has agreed a plan for a boycott of KS1 and KS2 tests to protect children, teachers and schools from another year of damaging and deficient accountability and assessment. The fiasco of primary assessment in 2016 must not be repeated next year.


  • Would you like to attend the next campaign activists’ group meeting to help shape this important campaign?
  • Barnsley NUT will cover travel expenses for the meeting at NUT HQ in London this coming Saturday, the 10th of September, from 2-5pm for a limited number of Barnsley NUT members.
  • If you would like more details about the meeting and how to get involved please email or call Barnsley Division Secretary Nicola Fitzpatrick as soon as possible on 07838067546 or secretary@barnsley.nut.org.uk


All resources and information about the NUT’s Primary Assessment Campaign are available here including links for Head Teachers, Governors and Parents.




Pay Policy and decisions on pay progression

Under the new arrangements, schools will be using Appraisal outcomes to make decisions about teachers progress on the pay spine. These decisions must be communicated to teachers no later than October 31st, any increments will be back dated to September.

We are urging all school REPS to check that their schools have arrangements in place to meet these requirements and that is made clear to all staff. We are here to support you if you need us and there is also lots of useful information to support you on the national website: Pay  Pay Policy Check List  Performance Related pay Advice

Appraisal Advice     Appraisal Checklist  Observation and Learning Walks Protocol

Barnsley NUT are also offering a series of drop in meetings that will run after school from September 19th-21st until 6pm (please ensure you have your membership details with you for ID  purposes)

The drop in sessions will be held at our local division office from 3pm and will offer support and advise to any REPS and members concerned or worries about pay/appraisal in their school.

Barnsley NUT Division Office (you can park in Burleigh Street East car park and we will reimburse your car parking charges)

8 Burleigh Court,

Burleigh Street,


S70 1XY

Contact Nicola Fitzpatrick for more information: secretary@barnsley.nut.org.uk


SATs Chaos!

SATs Chaos!


How do you feel about this year’s SATs?


We believe that this year’s KS2 SATs have been a disaster from the beginning. There was a rushed and inappropriate curriculum and poor tests that have been poorly marked. This year 47% of children will be told they haven’t reached the “expected” standard in at least one of their SAT papers. Last year this figure was only 15%.


It is really important that we reassure parents and children. These children haven’t failed. Nicky Morgan has failed. She and Nick Gibb have consistently ignored advice – even pleas – from educationalists and teachers.


It was clear to many teachers that these tests were going to be a car crash. The material was too hard, the curriculum wasn’t in place and the tests were badly designed. The KS2 Reading test was so badly designed that the pass mark had to be set at 21 out of 50.


Even with that pass mark only 66% reached the so called ‘expected’ standard this year, compared with about 80% of pupils who reached 4B last year. This year children who just reached the ‘pass’ mark would have had the experience of not being able to answer a majority of the questions. Children who ‘failed’ – many of whom would have passed last year – will have had an even more demoralising experience.


And then, insult to injury, there are such problems with the marking. A primary head has told the NUT that, on checking the KS2 Reading papers, 22 out of 36 were marked incorrectly. They were missing between 1 and 6 marks each. If a Government puts such emphasis on these tests then it has responsibility to ensure they are marked properly. Teachers with this rate of error would be put on capability or dismissed. Heads would surely not survive an Ofsted with a finding like this.


If you teach in Barnsley please can you attend our emergency SATs meeting on Thursday 14th July at 4:30 at the Shaw Lane Sports Club? (63 Shaw Lane, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 6HZ) We are providing a hot and cold buffet and drinks free for attendees. We want to know how you feel about the SATs, compare your experiences to other teachers in Barnsley and ask what we can do about them next year.


Emma Hardy-Mattinson


National Union of Teachers


Yorkshire Midland Region (Area 3)

Lazarus House (1st Floor)

14 Prince’s Street





NUT Strike Action July 5th 2016

Why we are striking?

All schools in England will see a real terms cut in funding under government proposals. Some areas of the country will see cuts of up to 25%!

Cuts in funding will result in:

  • job losses
  • increased workload
  • lack of pay progression
  • a narrowing of the curriculum
  • cuts to entitlements such as maternity leave


We hope to keep the pressure on the Government to engage in genuine dialogue with the profession. We want to send the clearest message that we cannot-as professionals-tolerate such an attack on us and our students.

A successful strike day will help keep the pressure on the Government, and to highlight the issue of funding cuts.



Teachers who aren’t yet members of the NUT can join at any point up until the day of action. Please encourage all non-members to join us. They can do so by calling  020 7380 6369 or Join us here


For useful resources, including a strike FAQ please click on the links on the right of the NUT’s main page here







Barnsley Education Conference July 9th 2016

ASPS NUTBarnsley NUT present an education conference for teachers in Barnsley to celebrate the profession, discover new exciting teaching ideas, meet other teachers from Barnsley and go away feeling inspired and reinvigorated!

The day will begin with a keynote speech from Hywel Roberts to set the mood of learning and laughter for the day. There will be an opportunity to choose from workshops throughout the day from Jane Hewitt , Alan Gibbons and much more.

Lunch will be provided free of charge and the event will end with a panel discussion between Kevin Courtney (Deputy General Secretary of the NUT) and Dan Jarvis (MP Barnsley Central) so bring your questions with you.

Members of the NUT will be entitled to £10 towards travel expenses.

It is a free event but please register here



Barnsley Education Question Time

Many of you will be aware that there have been many Education Question Time meetings held around the country over the past few months, they are proving to be very successful events, with some high profile speakers in attendance.
The NUT in conjunction with the UCU (University and College Union) have organised an EQT, hopefully to take place at Barnsley Town Hall on
Monday 20th April, 5.45-7.15pm

All the prospective parliamentary candidates have been invited, so far three have agreed to attend and be on the panel: Dan jarvis (Labour and MP for Barnsley Central) Michael Short (Green Party candidate) and Dave Gibson (Trade Union & Socialist Coalition). As yet the Liberal Democrat and the Conservative candidates haven’t responded but we are very hopeful of a full panel whereby a very meaningful discussion can take place.
Look out for a flyer containing more details to be sent into schools after Easter. Please spread the word we would like to invite as many parents to the event as possible.
We look forward to seeing as many of our members there as possible.
We want to put education issues at the top of the agenda for the candidates of all parties.
For a list of the  EQT’s being held around the country  click here

The NUT Education Manifesto

Read and share the manifesto here

The NUT Manifesto- Stand up for education and vote for education.

The general election in 2015 is a perfect opportunity for parents and teachers to vote for education. The NUT’s manifesto makes recommendations for priorities and policies to benefit all children. The NUT are asking that the next government adopts them. Please show the manifesto to friends, colleagues and neighbours.

Click here to find out more about the manifesto and what you can do to support and get involved.