The Welsh Assembly elections give you the chance to put questions to your local WAG candidates about issues of importance to teachers. If you see candidates at a meeting or during door-to-door canvassing, here are some questions you may want to ask:
• What would you and your party do to close the per-pupil funding gap between schools in Wales and those in England?
• Are you committed to maintaining the present framework of national pay and conditions for teachers?
• Do you believe teachers’ pensions should be protected?
• Will you campaign for smaller classes and to ensure children have improved access to personal learning opportunities?
• If elected, will you work to safeguard teachers’ physical and mental health?
• Would you seek to reform the current school inspection system and campaign for a system that supports, rather than punishes, school communities?
• What will you and your party do to ensure that the target of eradicating child poverty by 2020 is met?
• What measures do you believe should be taken to ensure that schools have support in tackling pupil indiscipline?
• How will your party tackle discrimination and inequality in education?
• Do you think there should be a minimum funded annual entitlement for teachers’ professional development?
• What do you think should be done to ensure teachers are protected from the effects of false allegations?
You’ll find further ideas for questions in the NUT Cymru manifesto for education. This will be posted on the NUT website at www.teachers.org.uk/
walesmanifesto when available.
Vote for education
On Thursday 5 May, the people of Wales go to the polls to vote for the next Welsh Assembly Government (WAG). The NUT is urging members to quiz their candidates about their plans for education and public services, and to make sure they are aware of our manifesto for education in Wales.
The NUT believes in a comprehensive education system that is democratically accountable and provides a good local school for every child. In Wales we risk losing these values as we find our education system underfunded, schools closing or being reorganised and public services cut.
Children in Wales deserve parity of funding with children in England. Our education manifesto calls for:
1 Properly qualified teachers in every classroom at all times
NUT Cymru argues for an all-graduate teaching profession. The Assembly Government must make sure all classes are taken at all times by fully qualified staff. The often excellent abilities of classroom assistants should not be exploited to save money.
Teachers should be paid according to their qualifications and experience, adhering to national pay scales. The Assembly must end the use of supply teacher agencies that do not pay the recognised daily rate. Local authorities should ensure that public funds intended for educating our children do not boost the profits of private companies at the cost of qualified teachers.
All teachers, including those working part-time, on supply, or for agencies, must have guaranteed access to training and professional development.
2 Fair funding for schools in Wales
Pupils, parents and education professionals are entitled to a properly funded education service. Schools must get adequate resources if we are to unlock the potential of every child. WAG figures show that funding in Wales is £604 less per pupil than in England. We want Welsh schools to get all the money earmarked for education by the Chancellor without retention by the Assembly or local authorities.
The new WAG must deliver the First Minister’s pledge to close the funding gap, and establish a timetable for this.
3 Protect education
Public services are under threat in the wake of demands from Westminster to slash spending, including on education.
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