Supporting Supply Teachers in East Sussex


          The main motion on supply matters went through unopposed, the Executive amendment having been defeated previously. The LEW motion calling for supply teachers to have parity with other “minority” groups within the new union was moved very ably by Mark Fairbanks, but there was considerable noise and movement during his speech, not stopped by the President, and once more timed out and put forward to Tuesday morning, when it was “talked out” in terms of time and then could not complete due to the announcement of,  and crowd reaction to, the dates for the first NEU Conference in Liverpool in 2019, when many in the auditorium realised they were not on holiday!

          The Supply Teachers Network held its fringe meeting on Saturday lunchtime, attended by approximately 135 people (numbers to be confirmed). The panel consisted of Niall Bradley chairing (Bridget Chapman was unable to attend, but was thanked for all her input to date), Richard Knights, secretary, Phil Clark, as local Assn officer and Executive member, Angela Sandles representing the Welsh delegation and Gill Campbell from the local WASPI group. A lively and informative Q and A session followed introductory talks and the advertising of the first ever Supply Reception brought forward more people wanting a place!

          The Supply Teacher Reception was held at close of business on Monday in the Regent Room at The Grand Hotel. Drinks and nibbles were supplied courtesy of joint sponsorship from East Sussex Division and Sefton Association, both of whom were thanked for their generosity, which was obviously much appreciated. Paul McLaughlin kindly agreed to attend and was happy to talk of his “vision” for the future of supply teachers in the NEU. He was acclaimed as the only regional officer to date to have “come over from the other side” (his own words, and has contacted me since to say he will be very happy to meet to discuss what the Region in particular can do for our supply members – so a very satisfactory opportunity for him to socialise and mingle and hopefully have him on-side. Thanks were also made to Dave Brinson for all his long-time supply support, Phil Clarke as our own very supportive Exec. Member, and to Alex Kenny for attending on behalf of the Executive, along with Graham White from Suffolk.

          There is a meeting of the Supply Teacher Network – open to all members- at Hamilton House on Sat 12th May 1pm – 3-30pm. Divisions are asked to support members wishing to attend with travel costs.

       Plans for the Supply Conference on the weekend of June 23rd/24th are still being discussed and should be published ASAP. The NOF meeting last month voted for a weekend event, and there has been much discussion and considerable disagreement about how this should be organised and funded. To date the conference and a training day will be separate events, probably in Warwick: the conference on the Saturday requiring travel expenses  the Sunday for training and hopefully recruiting more supply officers in Divisions and Assns. More information when it is clarified.

        The Executive have just stated they will support the demonstration in Cardiff on 7th July against the appalling rates of pay and conditions via “New Directions,” the preferred agency adopted by the Welsh Government. Once more support is asked from all Divs. and Associations by financing expenses for attendees.


Angie Travis  SE Region NOF and E.Sussex Supply Officer