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Union learning representatives


Derek McMillan
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Too often the courses organised for teachers are punitive - "you are failing, this CPD will put you back on track for the government's latest wheeze". As you would expect *our* training courses are very different and aim to empower teachers and bring back some of the joy of teaching.

Union Learning Rep is a new role and hopefully a useful one which involves organising lifelong learning for people who are teaching. If teachers don't believe in learning for its own sake then who does?

Organising CPD for teachers continues and extends the role of the trade unions as educational bodies and advocates for education. There are details on the website http://www.teachers.org.uk[/url] or ask your local learning rep.

The other strands to the role are lifelong learning, learning things which are of use or interest to the learner rather than directly to the employer; and of course promoting the training of union health and safety reps and other union officers.

All the government waffle about excellence is just boasting. Teaching is more about doing the best for your pupils in difficult cicumstances.

After a course at the NUT training centre I have now been "certified" - many say it should have been done long ago!

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This is something Sweden does extensively and well. If you're a union rep here, you are sent on a series of courses to make sure that you know the ins and outs of your job. I have a friend who's a Health and Safety at Work Officer for her union and she must have been on a dozen courses (mostly residential). It's left her knowing much more about the law than her counterparts on the employers' side of the table … which was useful when she was the prime mover for bringing in the inspectorate, who managed to improve working relationships between employers and employees no end.

I do a fair amount of in-service training for teachers which could be categorised as 'life-long learning'. Distance learning obviously plays a major role in this, but it's distance learning's flexibility, rather than the distance that's the major factor. One of the aspects of the courses which regularly scores very high on participant evaluations is that teachers get to talk to each other about teaching in a neutral setting (i.e. on a course which is organised by an outside body). If anyone's interested in hearing more details, just let me know.

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I must say that Health and Safety reps are more vital than ever. A lot of academic research quoted by Labour Research indicates that union Health and Safety reps make the workplace safer and cut down on injuries and death at work.

I also agree that distance learning is likely to be more convenient (and potentially less threatening!) for teachers.

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  • 1 month later...

We now have a questionnaire online for any West Sussex teachers who might be interested.

http://wsta.org.uk/test.htm

I will also be going out as a paper questionnaire as well because I think asking epople who want training in ICT (for example) to fill in an online questionnaire is cruel and unusual!

<_<

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