We are at the end of another week and things continue to change and evolve. The following update outlines the developments which have taken place this week, both within UTU and in the wider education system.
SPECIAL CORONAVIRUS CONFERENCE
UTU is hosting a Special Coronavirus Conference on Wednesday 17 June from 2pm. Three motions will be presented and debated during this webinar. The President and General Secretary will address members. Registration for the Conference is now open:
and will remain so until noon on Wednesday 12 June. A link with login details will be sent to participants 24 hours before Conference begins. Please look out for Branch and Area Association meetings that will be taking place over the next week.
UTU INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMPETITION
Just a reminder that our UTU International Relations Competition is now accepting entries and will do so until Friday 12 June at 5pm. There are five categories around the theme of "lockdown"; full details are available on our Facebook and twitter pages. Entries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
PAY AND WORKLOAD AGREEMENT
Work continues between the teaching unions, the Department of Education and the Employing Authorities to deliver the agreement. In line with commitments made to teachers, documentation has been sent today by DE to all members concerning the development of time budgets for the new academic year. Please contact UTU if you require any clarification.
The following information and guidance has been issued this week in response to developments but most continue to be working documents which will be added to as health advice and new strategies emerge.
Some of the guidance has moved forward from that issued both by DE and UTU earlier in the crisis. This is to respond to emerging issues and to give clarification as it becomes available. We would advise that you keep abreast of new documents to ensure you are fully updated.
The following documents have been issued this week:
2nd June: Letter from the Minister for Education outlining the processes and priorities for the Education Restart Programme
3rd June: Guidance to Boards of Governors and Schools on School Development Plans
Concerns were raised, particularly by more recently-appointed Principals, as to what be required as a relevant and workable SDP for this academic year. The guidance reflects the current circumstances and the following two paragraphs are particularly useful.
7. ….schools may wish to prepare a transitional plan for 2020/21. Alternatively, schools may find it more useful to amend or, for those in the final year of the three year cycle, extend the current school development plan for an additional year.
8. The SDP, whether a transitional, amended or extended plan for 2020/21, does not need to be an extensive document. It should bring together, in a clear and simple way, the school’s priorities, the actions and resources that it will deploy to deliver these and the key outcomes it intends to achieve.
The document also provides suggestions on priorities and advice on action plans relevant to the crisis.
4th June: Guidance to support Safe Working in Educational Settings in Northern Ireland
UTU has received reassurance from DE and the Employing Authorities that this guidance applies to educational settings at the present time. More detailed practical advice will be provided as a result of the on-going consultations regarding management of the new academic year.
5th June: Guidance for schools on Supporting Remote Learning to Provide Educational Continuity
This guidance addresses a range of practical issues and questions which have been raised by members. Again, feedback on your experiences is welcomed.
UTU continues to be directly involved in the on-going consultations about the way forward and we welcome your input to feed into the way forward. As ever, we can be contacted at email@example.com.
All documents referenced above are available on the DE website.
ETI has announced on its website that inspections are paused and will continue to be so moving into the new academic year. The update states:
Ahead of any resumption of inspection, ETI will engage with reference groups including leaders, teachers’ unions and professional associations to discuss when inspection will resume and what the areas of focus will be in line with the guiding principles…
Members will be kept informed of developments.