Boycott Liverpool

Boycott Leicester

Covid-19 information and updates

Business of the education committee

Manifesto for post-school education

1 Manifesto for post-school education - National executive committee

In the face of the continuing attacks on the funding, quality and accessibility of our public education service, Congress reaffirms its commitment to the alternative vision set out in the union's manifesto for post-school education [358kb]:

  • the removal of all financial barriers to access to education
  • a high quality publicly funded education system, accessible to all
  • lifelong learning as a reality, not just a slogan
  • a properly remunerated, valued and respected teaching, research and learning support professional workforce
  • institutional autonomy, academic freedom and democratic governance
  • an end to privatisation, marketisation and bureaucratisation of education
  • an education service founded on respect for equality and diversity, commitment to the promotion of social inclusion and active opposition to all forms of discrimination
  • an education service that is able to develop in all students the level of critical thinking needed to play a full role within society.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

1A.1 - London regional committee

Add at end:

'Congress resolves to:

  1. urge a coordinated campaign of action with other unions, including strike action, to defend post-school education, oppose pay freezes, threats to pensions and jobs;
  2. press the TUC and other unions to ballot for a 24-hour public sector strike against post-election cuts.
  3. call a day of action on 'emergency budget' day to involve branches with live ballots in strike action and other branches to organise lunchtime protests /rallies.'

CARRIED

1A.2 Composite - East Midlands regional committee, Chesterfield College

Add at end:

Congress notes:

  1. that the only way to defend education and protect jobs in the face of the attacks mentioned above is to develop a national strategy of co-ordinated action.
  2. the likelihood of further rounds of education spending cuts.

Congress resolves to:

  1. fight the cuts on the basis of a co-ordinated national strategy.
  2. meet with other trade unions to discuss join action and campaigning to defend education and public services.
  3. seek to launch the campaign with a one-day strike of public sector unions.

CARRIED

1A.3 - Croydon College, NEC

Add final bullet point: Congress resolves to call upon other union to join the FE/HE unions day of protest on 21 June.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

In the face of the continuing attacks on the funding, quality and accessibility of our public education service, Congress reaffirms its commitment to the alternative vision set out in the union's manifesto for post-school education [358kb]:

  • the removal of all financial barriers to access to education
  • a high quality publicly funded education system, accessible to all
  • lifelong learning as a reality, not just a slogan
  • a properly remunerated, valued and respected teaching, research and learning support professional workforce
  • institutional autonomy, academic freedom and democratic governance
  • an end to privatisation, marketisation and bureaucratisation of education
  • an education service founded on respect for equality and diversity, commitment to the promotion of social inclusion and active opposition to all forms of discrimination
  • an education service that is able to develop in all students the level of critical thinking needed to play a full role within society
  • that the only way to defend education and protect jobs in the face of the attacks mentioned above is to develop a national strategy of co-ordinated action.
  • the likelihood of further rounds of education spending cuts.

Congress resolves to:

  • urge a coordinated campaign of action with other unions, including strike action, to defend post-school education, oppose pay freezes, threats to pensions and jobs
  • press the TUC and other unions to ballot for a 24-hour public sector strike against post-election cuts
  • call a day of action on 'emergency budget' day to involve branches with live ballots in strike action and other branches to organise lunchtime protests/rallies
  • fight the cuts on the basis of a co-ordinated national strategy
  • meet with other trade unions to discuss join action and campaigning to defend education and public services
  • seek to launch the campaign with a one-day strike of public sector unions
  • call upon other union to join the FE/HE unions day of protest on 21 June.

2 Measuring the quality of education - North West regional committee

Congress believes that students should have the best possible experience of post-compulsory education. However Congress is concerned that the criteria and methods used to capture the quality of students' experience is narrow, short-term and utilitarian which results in measuring cost effectiveness rather than the real value of educational experience.

Congress further believes that crude ranking of colleges and universities based on these measures results in superficial, inadequate and inaccurate conclusions being drawn about the potential experience of students whilst studying.

Congress identifies that, as well as students, staff should also have a role in measuring the quality of an institution and that dignity and respect for all should be inherent in the process.

Congress calls on the NEC, together with input from regions and branches/LAs, to develop a national campaign to expose this aspect of commodification of the education experience.

CARRIED


3 Marketisation of post-16 education - South East regional committee

Congress condemns the continued marketisation of post-16 education and in particular the:

  • use of consultants;
  • contracting out of services;
  • reduction in funding support for students with a consequent increase in fees, an increase in full cost provision and growth in private providers.

Congress instructs its Officers to mount a campaign that:

  • draws attention to the impact of marketisation in all areas of post-16 education including prison, adult, HE and specialist FE;
  • obtains support for a fully public funded post-16 education service.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

3A.1 - Anti-casualisation committee

Add 4th bullet point to first paragraph:

  • inevitable increase in casualisation that marketisation brings

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress condemns the continued marketisation of post-16 education and in particular the:

  • use of consultants;
  • contracting out of services;
  • reduction in funding support for students with a consequent increase in fees, an increase in full cost provision and growth in private providers;
  • inevitable increase in casualisation that marketisation brings.

Congress instructs its Officers to mount a campaign that:

  • draws attention to the impact of marketisation in all areas of post-16 education including prison, adult, HE and specialist FE;
  • obtains support for a fully public funded post-16 education service.

4 Two-year, "fast-track" accelerated degrees in further and higher education - National executive committee

Congress believes that proposals for squeezing three-year honours degrees into two years, coming at the same time as massive cuts in both FE and HE budgets, is driven by economic rather than by educational objectives.

Previous experiments with fast-track degrees have revealed little demand for them as well as major problems in the quality of the student experience. They are also contrary to the Bologna Process, will make transfer to Bologna-style Masters courses problematic, and will seriously damage the international reputation of UK degrees.

Fast-track degrees also place unacceptable demands on staff workloads and reduce time for scholarship, research and professional development as well leading to the employment of casual staff to teach on summer "semesters".

Congress therefore calls on the NEC to oppose the introduction of all forms of "education on the cheap" and to continue to defend high quality education and the terms and conditions of UCU members.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

4A.1 - Anti-casualisation committee

At end of 3rd paragraph, delete 'as well leading to the employment of casual staff to teach on summer "semesters"'

And replace with:

 'as well as leading to the use of casualised terms and conditions on summer "semesters" '. 

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress believes that proposals for squeezing three-year honours degrees into two years, coming at the same time as massive cuts in both FE and HE budgets, is driven by economic rather than by educational objectives.

Previous experiments with fast-track degrees have revealed little demand for them as well as major problems in the quality of the student experience. They are also contrary to the Bologna Process, will make transfer to Bologna-style Masters courses problematic, and will seriously damage the international reputation of UK degrees.

Fast-track degrees also place unacceptable demands on staff workloads and reduce time for scholarship, research and professional development as well as leading to the use of casualised terms and conditions on summer "semesters".

Congress therefore calls on the NEC to oppose the introduction of all forms of "education on the cheap" and to continue to defend high quality education and the terms and conditions of UCU members.


5 Stop de-professionalisation of services which support learning, teaching and research - Academic-related staff committee

Congress calls upon the NEC to campaign against deprofessionalisation of the services, for example in university or college libraries and computing services, which give essential support to learning, teaching and research.

While the growing scale of electronic services has widened access to resources, it is generally unrecognised that it has also increased, rather than decreased, the need for professional advice and training for users.

Congress calls upon the NEC to collect evidence highlighting the detrimental effect of deprofessionalisation on both staff and students, including its negative impact on the quality of library collections.

CARRIED


6 Childcare qualifications - Coleg Morgannwg (Rhondda)

Congress believes that the radical reduction in mandatory teaching hours for new childcare qualifications will have serious implications for the quality of childcare provision. These changes have been rushed, ill-informed and raise important issues for child protection and safety. The new Level 3 Diploma, which confers license to practice unsupervised, will be taught in as few as 300 hours, replacing existing courses with over 1000 taught hours. Such reductions will inevitably threaten lecturing jobs in both the FE and HE sector.

Congress deplores the seizure of the qualifications agenda by employers' bodies with their narrow and impoverished understanding of the purpose of education. Congress calls on the government to immediately halt these changes so that a full consultation can take place involving unions, educationalists, childcare providers and parents.

Congress resolves to campaign against these proposals and to oppose any threat to lecturing jobs resulting from their introduction.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

6A.1 - Northern regional committee

After first sentence of paragraph 2, add:

'Other changes to curricula and hours such as multidisciplinary, evidence based or new technologies in teaching and learning should be monitored closely and informed by peer evaluated pedagogic evidence. In some health and social care courses, for example Midwifery, hours have halved in covert ways. Students need not only to learn 'how to' but equally 'why' and curricula should be balanced not skewed towards the narrow employer dominant 'skills for health' agenda.

CARRIED

6A.2 - National executive committee

After paragraph 2, insert a new paragraph:

'Congress condemns these cuts, without reservation, as a cost-cutting measure that in one stroke removes effective protection for children and leaves future professionals exposed to a level of responsibility beyond their training.'

CARRIED

6A.3 - National executive committee

In final sentence, after 'campaign against these proposals and', delete 'to' and insert 'will additionally'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress believes that the radical reduction in mandatory teaching hours for new childcare qualifications will have serious implications for the quality of childcare provision. These changes have been rushed, ill-informed and raise important issues for child protection and safety. The new Level 3 Diploma, which confers license to practice unsupervised, will be taught in as few as 300 hours, replacing existing courses with over 1000 taught hours. Such reductions will inevitably threaten lecturing jobs in both the FE and HE sector.

Congress deplores the seizure of the qualifications agenda by employers' bodies with their narrow and impoverished understanding of the purpose of education. Other changes to curricula and hours such as multidisciplinary, evidence based or new technologies in teaching and learning should be monitored closely and informed by peer evaluated pedagogic evidence. In some health and social care courses, for example Midwifery, hours have halved in covert ways. Students need not only to learn 'how to' but equally 'why' and curricula should be balanced not skewed towards the narrow employer dominant 'skills for health' agenda. Congress calls on the government to immediately halt these changes so that a full consultation can take place involving unions, educationalists, childcare providers and parents.

Congress condemns these cuts, without reservation, as a cost-cutting measure that in one stroke removes effective protection for children and leaves future professionals exposed to a level of responsibility beyond their training.

Congress resolves to campaign against these proposals and will additionally oppose any threat to lecturing jobs resulting from their introduction.


L10 - Composite emergency motion: Academies

Congress is alarmed and outraged by the Academies Bill and government plans to rush it through parliament without time for proper debate, and the speed with which the programme to encourage schools to become Academies is being prosecuted.

Congress believes this is an unprecedented attack on the free state education system and will replace it with a two (or many) tier market driven collection of independent schools with no accountability and education values by the profit motive. Congress reaffirms its opposition to the programme which will lead to further privatisation of the school sector along with greater division and inequality of provision for young people.

Congress instructs NEC to:

  1. Put out a public statement opposing the Bill
  2. Write to all the teacher unions expressing support for opposition to the Bill
  3. Publicise the activities of the Anti-Academies Alliance Campaign to members and encourage their participation
  4. Encourage members and branches to sign the anti-academies petition, write to their MPs and the local press to oppose the Academies Bill, and to support local or national campaigns of parents, community groups and trades unionists to oppose the establishment of Academies.
  5. Call for national industrial action by all education unions together, linking the attacks on school, further and higher education.

CARRIED



Access to education

7 Defence of access to education - National executive committee

Congress notes the devastating impact on access to education and training of the cuts being inflicted on further, adult, higher, land-based and offender education. Thousands of students have been excluded from our colleges and universities as a result of funding cuts and increases in fees.

Congress believes that the exclusion of potential students from opportunities to learn reduces their life chances. Education cuts will lead to a more unequal and less prosperous society. Investment in education and the widening of access is essential to economic recovery and to the creation of educated citizens equipped to challenge the financial greed, injustice, discrimination and political apathy that currently blights our society.

Congress therefore instructs the NEC to ensure that the union builds on its manifesto for post-school education by leading a broad campaign to defend the right of access for all, regardless of their financial means, to high quality education and training.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

7A.1 - Disabled members standing committee

Add in paragraph 1, second sentence after 'funding cuts',

'in learning and study support, substantially reduced funding'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes the devastating impact on access to education and training of the cuts being inflicted on further, adult, higher, land-based and offender education. Thousands of students have been excluded from our colleges and universities as a result of funding cuts in learning and study support, substantially reduced funding and increases in fees.

Congress believes that the exclusion of potential students from opportunities to learn reduces their life chances. Education cuts will lead to a more unequal and less prosperous society. Investment in education and the widening of access is essential to economic recovery and to the creation of educated citizens equipped to challenge the financial greed, injustice, discrimination and political apathy that currently blights our society.

Congress therefore instructs the NEC to ensure that the union builds on its manifesto for post-school education by leading a broad campaign to defend the right of access for all, regardless of their financial means, to high quality education and training.


8 Education and social justice - University of East London

Congress asserts that education is a right - and that properly resourced secondary and tertiary education is integral to the agenda for social justice. Congress rejects the strategy of taking from education to support the bankers' bail-out.

Congress notes alternative strategies for dealing with crisis, notably those under way in European states which use investment in universities and colleges to enhance skills and develop social resources.

Congress resolves:

  • to call a national conference on education and social justice to discuss the case for education in a period of global crisis;
  • to disseminate energetically materials on the case for expansion of secondary and tertiary education;
  • to counterpose to the cuts a policy of investment in education and to initiate a campaign on education and social justice with a national demonstration and rally to take place before the end of 2010.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

8A.1 - Nelson & Colne College and Tower Hamlets College (Poplar)

add a new third paragraph:

'Congress further notes that over 900 people attended the Right to Work conference on 30th January backed by 60 trade union branches and other bodies, and also the emergency post-election conference of 22nd May which discussed how to develop nationally coordinated resistance to the cuts and united action to defend jobs, services and pensions.'

At end of 'Congress resolves' section, add:

'to affiliate to the national Right To Work Campaign.'

CARRIED

8A.2 - National executive committee

Under 'Congress resolves', after 2nd bullet point, insert new bullet point:

'• encourage members, branches and regions to organise and participate in local and regional events in support of the national campaign for education;'.

In the last bullet point, after 'initiate', delete 'a' and insert 'with NUT and others a broad'.

In the last bullet point, after 'education and social justice', insert:

',including opposition to academies and similar proposals,'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress asserts that education is a right - and that properly resourced secondary and tertiary education is integral to the agenda for social justice. Congress rejects the strategy of taking from education to support the bankers' bail-out.

Congress notes alternative strategies for dealing with crisis, notably those under way in European states which use investment in universities and colleges to enhance skills and develop social resources.

Congress further notes that over 900 people attended the Right to Work conference on 30th January backed by 60 trade union branches and other bodies, and also the emergency post-election conference of 22nd May which discussed how to develop nationally coordinated resistance to the cuts and united action to defend jobs, services and pensions.

Congress resolves:

  • to call a national conference on education and social justice to discuss the case for education in a period of global crisis;
  • to disseminate energetically materials on the case for expansion of secondary and tertiary education;
  • encourage members, branches and regions to organise and participate in local and regional events in support of the national campaign for education;
  • to counterpose to the cuts a policy of investment in education and to initiate with NUT and others a broad campaign on education and social justice,including opposition to academies and similar proposals, with a national demonstration and rally to take place before the end of 2010;
  • to affiliate to the national Right To Work Campaign.

9 Affiliation to 'Youth Fight for Jobs' - Cardiff University

This Congress

Notes:

  • 1,000,000 young people are unemployed.
  • Education fees are likely to rise.
  • Further and higher education have seen over £1 billion in cuts announced.
  • PCS, RMT and CWU have affiliated to Youth Fight for Jobs.

Believes:

  • Educators and students are paying for the financial crisis.
  • Unemployment can be effectively tackled by job creation.
  • Cutting budgets and raising fees reduce young peoples' opportunities.

Supports:

  • Youth Fight for Jobs' aims:
  • The right to a decent job for all, with a living wage of at least £8 an hour.
  • No to cheap labour apprenticeships! All apprenticeships to pay at least the minimum wage, with a job guaranteed at the end. No to university fees. Support the Campaign to Defeat Fees.
  • To affiliate to Youth Fight for Jobs at a cost of £250.

CARRIED



Adult learning

10 The future of adult an community education - Waltham Forest ACE

Congress condemns the cuts in funding to adult and community education and calls on Congress and the NEC to send a message to the government and the main political parties to express our extreme concern at the irreparable damage that any such cuts will inflict on the well-being, health and cohesion of communities throughout the country.

In times of recession, expenditure on education should be maintained at all costs.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

10A.1 - University of Brighton, Grand Parade

Congress notes the lively and successful campaign a couple of years ago involving staff, students and communities built around the slogan 'Defend ESOL, Defend Education' and urges the NEC to use this model in encouraging similar campaigns alongside other interested parties in the Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning (CALL) to develop resistance to these devastating cuts locally and national.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress condemns the cuts in funding to adult and community education and calls on Congress and the NEC to send a message to the government and the main political parties to express our extreme concern at the irreparable damage that any such cuts will inflict on the well-being, health and cohesion of communities throughout the country.

In times of recession, expenditure on education should be maintained at all costs.

Congress notes the lively and successful campaign a couple of years ago involving staff, students and communities built around the slogan 'Defend ESOL, Defend Education' and urges the NEC to use this model in encouraging similar campaigns alongside other interested parties in the Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning (CALL) to develop resistance to these devastating cuts locally and national.'


11 Lifelong learning - Open University

Especially in a rapidly changing world, lifelong learning is central to the creation of a socially and economically healthy society and should be expanded and not cut back. However many government policies, most notably the retrograde Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (ELQ) policy, discriminate against lifelong learning and reduce the opportunities for adults to participate in higher and further education. Institutions which have been at the forefront of providing part time and adult education and those which have done most to promote widening participation will find it harder to do so.

Congress pledges its determination to work to defend and promote lifelong learning, in alliance with a broad range of other organisations including through the Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning, and to oppose policies and short-sighted financial decisions which threaten the expansion of lifelong learning.

NOT TAKEN (OUT OF TIME)

11A.1 - Women members standing committee

Insert after second sentence:

This reduction in opportunities has particular impact on those, predominantly women, who have taken time out of the workforce as carers.

11A.2 - South East regional committee

At the end of the first paragraph add: 'Congress is also concerned about the way funding cutbacks are impacting upon Access to HE courses and creating a situation where students wishing to return to study at HE are meeting greater barriers to participation through more stringent selection procedures.'



Institutional governance

12 Internal governance - London Metropolitan University (City Branch)

Congress notes:

  • The general lack of acceptable levels of transparency and democratic accountability in many post-16 institutions.
  • An increase in managerialism and a concomitant decrease in accountable governance structures.

Congress believes:

  • Poor internal governance increases the likelihood of weak strategic decision making and invariably leads, as in the well documented example of London Metropolitan University, to a top-down dictatorial management regime that is neither accountable nor competent.

Congress resolves:

  • To highlight extreme examples of poor governance structures and unaccountable decision-making, for example in HE institutions where 'Academic Boards' include very few, or in some cases no, academics or other elected staff representatives, and comprise almost entirely of management appointees;
  • To campaign for inclusive internal governance structures across post-16 institutions where both staff and students are fully, and democratically, represented.

NOT TAKEN (OUT OF TIME)


13 Governance in further and higher education institutions -National executive committee

Congress welcomes the policy statement on good governance in further and higher education and endorses the principles of public service, academic freedom, representativeness and democracy, inclusivity, openness, fairness and accountability.

These principles have been undermined by unrepresentative governing bodies dominated by business interests and controlled by cabals of senior managers. Effective staff representation has been reduced or removed; the power and influence of other components of democratic institutional governance such as academic boards and senates have been down downgraded or neutralised.

Congress believes that good governance underpins the ability of institutions to serve the needs of their students and to fulfil their responsibilities to their local communities and the wider society. It is also essential to the creation of an academic community in which the professionalism of staff is respected and their expert views heard.

Congress therefore calls on the NEC to campaign for the implementation of the policy statement.

CARRIED



Prison education

14 Establishing forums with all unions working within the prison system - Kensington and Chelsea Prison Education Branch

Since privatisation a fragmentation has taken place within the prison service, with different providers contracted to deliver various services - health services, education, etc.

While we recognise that NOMS (the National Offender Management Service) has endeavoured to create a seamless provision, the nature of prisons often results in a deficit of joined-up thinking. At a time when our prisons are overcrowded it is important that we create conditions in which inmates are returned to society as law-abiding citizens. The social cost implications of reoffending and a high prison population are much too great for our economy to sustain.

Congress calls upon the NEC to establish forums with all unions working within the prison system to develop unified strategies and strengthen the NOMS partnership at both a national and local level.

NOT TAKEN (OUT OF TIME)



Professional conferences and seminars

15 UCU Membership of SCETT - University of Derby, Canterbury Christchurch University, Havering College of FHE

The Standing Committee for the Education and Training of Teachers (SCETT) was formed in 1981 by Natfhe and others as a forum for all the teacher unions and professional associations committed to promoting good quality teacher education. Indirectly it represented the interests of 750,000 members in teacher education. It was housed by Natfhe for many years, and largely through UCU member involvement, was re-launched in 2008 at the House of Commons. UCU withdrew membership in 2010, SCETT'S 29th year.

Congress recognises that SCETT is a major player in teacher education policy and that its strength was that all unions were members. At a time when the defence of HE and FE involvement in teacher education is a priority Congress instructs the NEC to rejoin the only collective organisation of its kind (other than the TUC) and maintain a united, active and collective interest in teacher education.

NOT TAKEN (OUT OF TIME)

Last updated: 29 July 2016