Select Committee on Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Written Evidence


Memorandum by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) (RG 86)

  1.  NASUWT welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's consultation on the future of Regional Government.

  2.  NASUWT is the largest union representing teachers and headteachers throughout the UK.

GENERAL COMMENTS

  3.  NASUWT believes that some Local Authorities are too small and that they are failing to support their schools in an acceptable manner. NASUWT is therefore not averse to a regional/local Government review provided that the following factors are addressed:

    (a)  That any changes made as a result of devolution are not purely being made to differentiate any new body from its predecessors but are made for genuine evidence-based reasons;

    (b)  Local democratic accountability forms a key part of any Regional/Local Government structure;

    (c)  The role of local Government as the employer of the majority of teachers working in the education service is retained;

    (d)  Local Government has a clearly defined role in strategic planning, funding and managing the delivery of education and school improvement in its elective constituency;

    (e)  There should be no additional change or burdens imposed on the education service, schools or teachers as a result of any reform.

  4.  NASUWT also believes that the review should clarify how the commissioning and provision of support services to schools and other educational establishments will be carried out in any new structure.

  5.  NASUWT seeks confirmation that no steps will be taken which would impact adversely upon the delivery of the school workforce reforms arising from the implementation of the National Agreement "Raising Standards and Tackling Workload" or teachers' national pay and conditions of service.

  6.  The Union seeks clarification on what is meant by devolution of powers from "regional to local level"?

  7.  The NASUWT seeks assurances that the views of recognised unions and of those working within and directly affected by any proposed changes to Regional, Local and National Government will be sought and taken into account at all stages.

NASUWT RECOMMENDS THAT

    —    any changes made as a result of devolution are made for genuine evidence-based reasons;

    —    local democratic accountability forms a key part of the new Regional/Local Government structure;

    —    the role of local Government as the employer of the majority of teachers working in the education service is retained;

    —    local Government has a clearly defined role in strategic planning, funding and managing the delivery of education and school improvement in its elective constituency;

    —    there should be no additional change or burdens imposed on the education service, schools or teachers as a result of any reform;

    —    no steps are taken which would impact upon the delivery of the school workforce reforms, arising from the National Agreement or "Raising Standards Tackling Workload"; to teachers' national pay and conditions of service;

    —    clarification is provided on what is meant by devolution of powers from "regional to local level";

    —    the views of regional unions and of those working within and directly affected by any proposed changes to regional, local and national government be sought and taken into account at all stages.


 
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