UNISON's campaigns

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Council calls on government to halt “divisive”
funding formula for schools - April 2017

In response to the unprecedented level of cuts to school budgets, UNISON has joined the Stop Education Cuts in Sheffield (SECS) campaign.

The first meeting took place on 27/03/17. A number of Sheffield City Councillors attended, including Jackie Drayton Cabinet Member for CYPF. Amongst other things, the group called on the council to publically campaign against real terms cuts to school budgets. They responded swiftly with the press release below.

If you wish to join the new SECS campaign or the existing School Support Staff Working Party, please contact Lisa Smith:- l.smith@sheffunison.org.uk

School Funding campaign

Council calls on government to halt “divisive” funding formula for schools -
April 2017

Sheffield’s Labour councillors are seeking to get the council's full backing on Wednesday, for their motion demanding that the government stop and think again regarding their funding policies for schools.

The government is imposing real term cuts on schools by freezing per-pupil funding at the same time that inflation and school costs increase, and this will affect all schools and academies alike. For the first time in nearly twenty years, the schools budget will not be either protected in real terms and instead funding is only protected in cash terms.
The government is seeking to phase out the Education Services Grant and instead propose a funding formula to readdress imbalances and unfairness in current funding. However, the new proposals have been deemed “divisive” and “completely inadequate” as a means of providing needed funds for schools.

Labour are calling on all schools, parents and carers across Sheffield to write to the Government and local MPs about the cuts to funding, which could risk the viability of some schools. Labour, Unison, NUT and the Headteachers Unions are united in opposing the new formula and demanding the Government adopt a fair approach to funding education. Even amongst schools who are set to gain initially, they will suffer disproportionately from the government’s overall cuts

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families, said: The government’s funding formula is divisive, unfair and pits schools against schools, local authorities against each other, and primaries against secondary schools.

“I am proud to be working alongside the Trade Unions, teachers, support staff, governors, parents and carers to get more funding for Sheffield schools”.

“I call on all from across the city who care about education to write to the government urging them to reconsider their school funding plans.

“The proposed new funding formula will simply redistribute a sum of money that is inadequate to support schools. Shockingly by 2019 Sheffield schools will see an average pupil funding decrease of around 10% - approximately £350 per pupil.

Councillor Craig Gamble-Pugh, who proposed the motion for council, said:
“It is outrageous that schools across our city will be worse off. Schools are already struggling to manage budget deficits and there are shortages of teachers and a widening attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their better-off peers.

“We need new extra funding for our existing schools, and the government needed to do this with their recent budget. They rejected our calls but unforgivably found an extra £500 million for grammar and free schools instead, which we totally oppose.

“The Conservatives’ divisive policies are forcing schools to scramble for funding. Every child deserves the best possible start in life and we are calling for support for the More Funding for all Sheffield Schools’ Campaign.

“We are fighting for funding to be found for schools, not from the proposed redistribution of cash between local authorities or from taking money from primary schools to give to secondary schools, but for new money which is badly needed”.


UNISON celebrate Teaching Assistants

Stars in our Schools 2014

Stars In Our Schools

Following the success of last year’s Celebration Day for Teaching Assistants, UNISON decided this year to include the whole of the school support staff team.

Locally Sheffield UNISON Branch invited Head teachers and their staff to nominate a member(s) of their team they particularly feel deserved a “Star in our School” award.
Councillor Jackie Drayton presented the certificates and gifts on UNISONs behalf. The presentation took place in Sheffield Town Hall on Thursday 11th December. Councillor Drayton said:-

“It’s been a real pleasure for me to present the certificates to the “Stars”, those support staff working in schools in Sheffield. I know what an important job they do to ensure the children and young people in our City achieve their full potential. Its brilliant UNISON has taken this opportunity to recognise this too.”

The winners came from 4 different schools and variety of job roles:-

Darren Harrison - Technician from Newfield School
Amanda Doyle – Attendance Officer from Nether Edge Primary
Cathy Varley – Teaching Assistant from Bents Green Special School
Learning Support Team – High Storrs School

UNISON is acutely aware of the vital role all school support staff play in raising educational standards across the city. Through events like this and the “School Support Staff Campaign” UNISON will continue to raise the status and profile of school staff who provide the pupils in their care with high quality emotional and educational care.

Above: Councillor Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families and Lisa Smith UNISON Education Convenor discuss the vital contribution school support staff make in providing high quality education across the city.

Cathy Varley

Above: Cathy Varley a teaching assistant from Bents Green School (specialising in Autism and Communication Difficulties) was nominated for the considerable impact she has had on pupil engagement and progress through planning alternative provision. Her colleagues identified her as a dedicated key member of the staff team.

Above: Darren Harrison a technician from Newfield School accepting his certificate and gifts from Councillor Jackie Drayton. Darren was nominated as an "outstanding member of staff" by his colleagues at Newfield.

Above: Amanda Doyle is an Attendance Officer from Nether Edge Primary. Due to initiatives she has undertaken, lateness of pupils has decreased by half and attendance is up by 2%. Learning is at its best when children arrive on time and attend regularly. 
Amanda has made a significant contribution to this.

Above: Gifts and framed certificates were presented to UNISON members in Sheffield Town hall on Thursday 11th December 2014.

Above: The whole of the Learning Support Team from High Storrs school were nominated. Colleagues felt the team was solid due to the commitment of individuals dedicated to ensuring the pupils in their care are safe, well educated, motivated and happy.

Above: Councillor Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families and Lisa Smith UNISON Education Convenor discuss the vital contribution school support staff make in providing high quality education across the city.

Above: Darren Harrison a technician from Newfield School accepting his certificate and gifts from Councillor Jackie Drayton. Darren was nominated as an "outstanding member of staff" by his colleagues at Newfield.

Above: Gifts and framed certificates were presented to UNISON members in Sheffield Town hall on Thursday 11th December 2014.

Above: Cathy Varley a teaching assistant from Bents Green School (specialising in Autism and Communication Difficulties) was nominated for the considerable impact she has had on pupil  engagement and progress through planning alternative provision. Her colleagues identified her as a dedicated key member of the staff team.