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October, 2013:

Senate says no to PGCE closure review

Senate has rejected calls for a review of the decision to close Bath’s PGCE programme from 2014.   This was despite opposition from Academic Assembly, a petition from hundreds of staff and students at Bath, supported by hundreds of others in local schools and Departments of Education across the country.   UCU briefed all members of Senate on the arguments against closure,  and some members were clearly unhappy with the decision and the way in which it was reached.    The decision means that a record of outstanding teacher training that dates back almost to the opening of the University will come to an end just before the University celebrates its 50th birthday.


Bridgwater Trades Council centenary celebrations Saturday 19th October

Our members and supporters are warmly invited to join trade unionists in Bridgwater who will be celebrating the centary of the Bridgwater Trades Council on Saturday 19th October.     Main speaker is Bob Crow (RMT) and there will be a discussion Ships, Bricks and Cellophane  led by Bridgwater postman and trade unionist Dave ChappleDetails here..   If you are going and want to take the University of Bath UCU banner with you please contact Marie Morley (President) or Hedley Bashforth (Secretary).

Bath PGCE closure threat goes national

On top of the Chronicle article about the threatened PGCE closure, the matter continues to attract national attention.

“Our experience, working with head teachers who have been doing recruitment and selection with us as a school-based provider for something like 10 years, is that they are finding that those schools that do not have the experience are looking for teachers and not trainees. They are not selecting, and we are getting returned to us people who we would probably have put on the course but they do not, because they clearly do not represent the finished article. If schools have not had significant experience in ITT recruitment as opposed to teacher recruitment, they tend to miss some of the opportunities that are presented to them.”

Martin Thompson, Executive Director, The National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers speaking to the House of Commons Select Committee on Education, September 2013.

The problem outlined by Martin Thompson is one of the reasons why UCU opposes the closure of university-based teacher training courses.   Many able candidates will be turned down as school heads look to admit only those candidates who can do a job of work in the classroom even before they have been trained.   The question is – how good a job will they be able to do ?

Support the petition against the Bath closure

UCU shows solidarity with Greek anti-fascists Αδέρφια μετανάστες και αντιφασίστες είμαστε δίπλα σας

Bath UCU has sent a message of solidarity to the anti-fascist conference being held in Athens this weekend:

Ποτέ Ξανα φασισμός!

Fascism, Never again!

Αδέρφια μετανάστες είμαστε δίπλα σας

Our brothers and sisters migrants, we stand shoulder to shoulder
Αλληλεγγύη από το Μπαθ, Αγγλία

Solidarity from Bath, England

Taking the rise .. vote YES and YES before next Tuesday

It’s over three months since the Bath Remuneration Committee met to fix the VC’s pay rise for this year. We still don’t know what it is. But if past form is anything to go by it will be more than the 1% we are being offered.   For a graphic illustration of how the value of our pay has been eroded by below inflation pay awards check this beauty from UCL UCU.

We do not get many chances to act together, but the strike ballot is just such a chance. If you have not yet returned your ballot you have until next Tuesday to vote YES and YES and pop it in the post. Easy ! Then treat yourself to a sideways look at the current pay dispute and if you really want to be cheered up have a look at this piece from  Oxford SU and if that’s not enough see what the Chron is saying