Details of Conference Arrangements and Motions

Motion submitted for 2018 Annual Conference in Brighton for discussion at the Nov AGM.

Conference motion on Sexism, harassment and violence in schools
Conference notes:
i)The report by the 2016 Women and Equalities Committee on the ‘widespread’ sexual harassment and violence in schools and is concerned by the failure of Government to issue clear guidance for schools as recommended by the Committee in September 2016
ii)The report by the TUC, Still Just a Bit of Banter? on the commonplace and persistent sexual harassment of women at work including our members
iii)The inclusion of peer on peer abuse in the DfE guidance Keeping Children Safe
iv)The work of groups such as End Violence Against Women, Everyday Sexism and Girl Guiding in collecting and publicising such evidence
v)The recent media coverage of sexual harassment by BBC and Channel 5
vi)The surveys carried out by our Union on body image and sexual harassment and the launch of our own campaign on this issue in autumn 2017
viii)The work done by our Union along with other unions and the TUC in lobbying for change at every opportunity
ix)The successful ‘Breaking the Mould’ resources created by the Union
x)The increased challenges to parents, teachers and schools in protecting young people from on-line sexual harassment including ‘sexting’ and ‘revenge-porn’
xi)A narrow test-based curriculum is limiting opportunities for discussion, critical thinking and preventative education.
Conference believes that:
a)Sexual harassment, violence and abuse is rooted in sexism which is deeply entrenched in our society of which schools are a microcosm;
b)The responsibility for sexism must be addressed by all of us but that Government has particular responsibilities in this regard;
c)Ofsted and the DFE have long failed to address this issue adequately;
d)Any and all sexism must be challenged by all staff in all schools as a matter of routine;
e)High-quality, properly-funded Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) taught by trained professionals should be a statutory requirement for all schools;
f)Initial Teacher Training should include specific anti-sexist training as part of its courses including Teach First and School Direct and other school-based programmes.
Conference calls on the NUT Executive and the JEC of the NEU to:
1.Lobby the government to make it statutory for all schools to have a “whole-school approach” to challenging and recording sexism and sexual harassment and violence;
2.Continue to campaign for statutory sex and relationships education in all schools, actively support the #SREnow campaign, and to explore growing links with parents groups to build its strength;
3.Produce guidance for teachers on how to recognise and challenge sexism, sexual harassment and violence in schools and on-line;
4.Campaign for all education staff, including those in training, to receive training on sexism, how to challenge it and how to promote sex equality as part of a school’s ethos;
5.Ensure our members are informed of their rights and responsibilities under equality laws;
6.Source, develop and promote appropriate teaching resources via our website, e-bulletins, The Teacher, conferences, networks, social media and CPD;
7.Develop our work with other unions and organisations that share these objectives

Conference condemns the stigma and the culture of silence that surrounds mental health in the workplace with 30% of staff across all workplaces not feeling able to discuss their mental health with a line manager.
Conference condemns the disregard for staff wellbeing in a profession that is becoming driven by rigorous testing, scrutiny and accountability.
Conference therefore instructs the Executive to:
1. Make staff wellbeing a priority campaign.
2. Provide training for school and H&S union representatives, to equip them with the skills and knowledge to improve staff wellbeing in schools.
3. Campaign for a mental health policy for staff that works within the health and safety policy in all schools.
4. Campaign to have trained and certificated Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) in all schools.
5. Build links with sister organisations which could provide training and CPD.
6. Promote the Workplace Wellbeing Charter and available funding.
7. Publish examples of good practice schools working to promote staff wellbeing and to establish a culture of openness surrounding mental health.