Reps

ALREADY A SCHOOL REP?

Please let us know your most up-to-date email. If you would be interested in training for members in your school, a group of reps in your school cluster or training and advice on a specific issue then please get in touch with Scott

slyonsnut@gmail.com

This area of the website is designed as a ‘one stop’ shop for School Reps. It should help you to understand and carry out your role, and should remind you that there is always support available to help you.

If you aren’t sure about something, telephone, text or email the Secretary, who will always help you and provide advice and support.

This area of the website is designed as a ‘one stop’ shop for School Reps. It should help you to understand and carry out your role, and should remind you that there is always support available to help you.

If you aren’t sure about something, telephone, text or email the Secretary, who will always help you and provide advice and support.

There are four main aspects to the work of a School Rep.

Not all of them will be carried out all the time. Some are easier than others, and if you aren’t sure…contact the Secretary.

Recruitment

You will need application forms and information about subscription rates.

Recruiting NQTs and teachers new to your school is an important part of being a Rep.

You can join online using the NUT website.

There are always very cheap subscription offers for new members!!

REPRESENTING MEMBERS

From time to time, members in your school, college, service or union may find themselves in difficulties. As NUT representative, you may be the first person to whom they turn.

Members need to know that they can turn to the NUT for advice and guidance in confidence.

When a member brings a problem to you, you are responding on behalf of the NUT. It is important that members perceive that you have taken their concerns seriously and that they know what will happen next.

You are not expected to know all the answers.

  • Colleagues will understand when you indicate that you need to make enquiries and seek advice.

In addition to your local Secretary, the Midlands Regional Office can be contacted for advice guidance and assistance on professional and legal matters in support of your members.

What you can do

If a member comes to you with an enquiry or a problem, you can:

  • Listen to the member and take her or him seriousl
  • Encourage the member to write things down in case the situation needs to develop.
  • Establish and note the essential facts.
  • Decide whether the case requires immediate action and refer it to your local secretary.
  • Check to see whether other members of the NUT are involved.
  • Keep the member informed of any action that you propose to take on her/his behalf.
  • Keep clear written notes of all conversations concerned with the case and copies of all correspondence.

What not to do

  •       Don’t tackle stages which are beyond the initial stages.
  •       Don’t get involved in formal procedures without seeking advice.
  •       Don’t take on matters which are not Union matters.
  •       Don’t worry about telling the member that you don’t know the answer.
  •       Don’t panic!

Don’t know the answer? Seek support.

NUT representatives cannot possibly know everything about every issue. Nor should NUT representatives tackle issues which should be dealt with at local, regional or national level.

COMMUNICATING WITH MEMBERS

Did you know that teachers judge the effectiveness of teachers’ organisations by how attractive their notice board is and how regularly it is updated? Make sure that the latest edition of NUT News is displayed on the NUT noticeboard.

Why not photocopy some essential NUT leaflets and put them in colleagues’ pigeon-holes?

Keeping in touch with members

Keeping members informed is important but, in a typically busy school, this can be difficult.

Ways in which you can stay in regular contact with your members, without it becoming a burden, are:

  • talking to members individually;
  • distributing the NUT mail; and
  • holding meetings.

Your choice of strategy depends on:

  • the number of members;
  • the time available; and
  • how you want to communicate.
  • using the NUT notice-board in the staff room

What to look out for

Look out for regular mailings from NUT Headquarters. These will be addressed to: The NUT Representative.

Key information your members should know:

  • elections – dates, procedures, results;
  • local association meetings – time and place, agenda;
  • training and professional development courses – details of national, regional and local training and professional development opportunities;
  • reports of any action you have taken on a member’s behalf, but remember that confidentiality is also important!
  • information from the governing body; and
  • reports from the division and LEA level.  

Communicating members’ views

Communicating is a two-way process. Make sure that your members’ views are heard by:

  • ensuring that they complete and return questionnaires and surveys sent out by the NUT; and
  • communicating your members’ opinions about current issues to your local association or division secretary.

DEALING WITH MANAGEMENT

Be confident! You can do it!

Remember that you are not seeing the headteacher or principal as you, but as the representative of the more than 240,000-member strong NUT.

Wear your NUT representative’s hat! This idea came from a young teacher who became an NUT representative. When meeting the head, she would say, “I’m putting on my NUT representative’s hat now”. After the meeting, she would say, “I’m taking off my school representative’s hat now”. It is a very useful way of clarifying to the head and to yourself that your relationship with the head in your NUT representative’s role is separate from that in your teacher’s role.

Some tips

  • Remember that some members will want you to take on issues on their behalf which are not Union issues. Don’t take on things which aren’t your problem!
  • Don’t assume you know what’s what simply from one source – check facts.
  • Don’t assume the Head knows how to apply the right procedure in the right way.
  • The school representative only needs to be involved in the initial stages.
  • Explain the difference between the informal and formal stages. In general, the school representative only needs to be involved in the informal stage.
  • Encourage your member to get the facts down on paper.
  • Do take advice from your local Secretary or the Eastern Regional Office
  • Don’t try and do everything at once – a clear head and clear process helps everyone.

If the headteacher is an NUT member…
The NUT is a union for all teachers. This means that some headteachers, deputy headteachers and others in the Leadership Group will be NUT members.

The NUT encourages the recruitment of school managers and leaders into membership.

NUT representatives and members can expect the headteacher to be reasonably supportive of NUT policies and campaigns.