Greenwich teachers celebrate victory!

Teachers at John Roan school in Greenwich won a victory this week in their fight against excessive work loads. We reported on their first day of strike action on 10 November.  Below we publish their letter to supporters and the official National Union of Teachers statement on their successful dispute.

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Picket line outside John Roan. Photo: John Roan NUT

Dear Supporters,
John Roan NUT would like to inform our supporters that we have achieved a victory for respect at work and for teachers today. We hope others feel encouraged that we can take a stand and win. We are very proud of our strike and what we have achieved over the last six weeks. We now have policies that offer us greater protection against a culture that values ‘statistics’ more than the students we should be helping.

We have restored confidence in ourselves as committed teachers and reminded ourselves and the wider community that we should be valued for our contributions to children’s lives. We have discovered that ‘age old’ idea that if you respect yourselves then so will others. We have uncovered a hidden treasure of kindness, care and solidarity that stretches from the families that live along the Thames from Greenwich and Woolwich to Brooklyn New York and as far afield as the General Secretary of the Teachers Union in Nigeria who tweeted ‘solidarity’ for us all over Africa on our strike days!

We would like to say a personal thanks to all those parents, students and community people who have given us the strength to stand up for what we know is right. A big shout to the teachers, staff, students and parents of the fabulous one and only John Roan!

The John Roan NUT

Statement from The John Roan NUT on our dispute with the School Management on the issues of excessive workload, monitoring and scrutiny. Issued: 25 November 2015

The NUT is pleased to announce that, thanks to the substantial progress that has been made in negotiations, we are now close to a resolution of the dispute at the John Roan School. Our dispute focussed around the imposition of two policies this term: Teaching, learning and Assessment (TLA) policy and the Appraisal Policy.

Subject to confirmation of the final wordings of the disputed school policies, we believe that an agreement can now be reached that addresses most of our key concerns over excessive workload and scrutiny.

These include:

  • The removal of weekly learning visits to scrutinise lessons
  • The removal of any reference to students being expected to make 4 or 5 ‘Levels of progress’
  • The removal of the use of Ofsted graded lesson observations
  • The removal of any requirement to record verbal feedback
  • The removal of any reference to ‘drop-ins’
  • More manageable marking requirements
  • The adoption of a clear protocol for observations and learning walks.

Given this progress, the NUT is not proceeding with the strike action originally notified for Wednesday and Thursday this week. We recognise that this will be welcomed by staff, parents and students. However, we also hope that it is recognised that it was the determined stand taken by NUT members, including the two days of strike action in November, that have brought us towards a successful resolution of this dispute.

The John Roan NUT group would like to thank everyone who has supported our struggle, a struggle which we took in the best interests of education. Too many schools are being blighted by low morale and high teacher turnover. We hope that a successful conclusion of our dispute will help ensure that our school is not effected in the same way and that teachers, staff and students will thrive and succeed at The John Roan.

The John Roan NUT

John Roan National Union of Teachers website is www.thejohnroannut.org

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