National Conference 2014: a first timer reports

Having experienced my first National Conference at Birmingham this Easter I came away with mixed emotions.  An overwhelming feeling of comradeship was paramount, empathy and admiration for colleagues going through distressing situations and furthermore anger that we should be in this position of industrial dispute.

I found it illuminating as well important to hear the reasons behind the motions and further supporting examples from those speaking in favour of the motions. In addition there were many fascinating and informative seminars to attend.  Attending conference is an opportunity to appreciate and understand how our National Executive works to support practicing teachers. 
NASUWT is a ‘union’, which means we must be ‘united’ standing in solidarity against the  erosion our profession and our rights as highly qualified graduates.

What was clear from all the motions is that damaging attacks on teachers is causing low morale. Moreover, attacks and denigration drives away long-serving teachers, young teachers and prospective teachers from the profession.

The strong message of the conference was that we should fight with tenacity until education and our professionalism are valued.

I was extremely impressed by the professional organisation of the event and remain proud to be a member of the NASUWT.

Linda Taylor
Castlecroft Primary School 


Local Association Social Event: Johnny Spice and "Brassed Off"

Social Event - 9th April, 2014

A group of Wolverhampton Association members and friends met up for a pre-theatre meal at Johnny Spice in Queen Street, followed by a visit to The Grand Theatre, to see the stage version of the film. Tickets were offered at a bargain £5.00 for LA members.

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the bitter miners’ strike, the Touring Consortium Theatre Company staged the latest version of a story which clearly shows the damaging effect government policy on pit closures had on individuals, families and communities. Based on a screenplay by Mark Herman, it was adapted by Paul Allen

Set in fictional northern town of Grimley, the play deals with the threat to shut down the local colliery, the difficult choice faced by miners who could pick up a redundancy payment or fight to save their jobs, and fears that the situation might destroy the popular brass band.

An excellent cast got the message across powerfully on a fine set, sometimes using a bit of industrial language, and while the plot was poignant and sad – even including an attempted suicide - there was also plenty of humour to provide a balance.

John McArdle was convincing as Danny, the band’s enthusiastic conductor who suffers from a lung disorder, legacy of his days underground, but determined to go for the national brass band championship in spite of the threat to the pit’s future.

He had clearly studied the art of conducting, because his performance with the baton in front of the superb Jackfield Brass Band was pretty impressive. The performance added to the laughter and banter of the evening and it is hoped that Socials will become a regular event; open to all members, their families and friends.