The NASUWT met with Leigh Academies Trust (LAT) in the Spring term 2016 to discuss a range issues.

The Trust informed us they are not currently looking to expand beyond the 30 schools that they operate in three geographical south-east clusters, although they will consider requests from other schools or from the DfE if they are made.

Union Portal

The Trust has developed a union portal which can be used to access and share documents. The site states that this has been designed to facilitate clear and consistent communication between the Trust and all unions recognised under their recognition agreement. The site can be accessed via the following link:

Policies and Procedures Update

The Trust is consulting on a number of policies, including:

  • Probationary Policy
  • Disciplinary Policy
  • Capability Policy
  • Grievance Policy

The NASUWT has submitted its comments and has sought significant improvements on behalf of our members.

The NASUWT has made it clear that we would not be agreeing to the Probationary Policy outright as it wasn’t something a teacher or any employee should be bound by as there were perfectly acceptable mechanisms already in existence to deal with issues. This was clearly seen as a reduction in the terms and conditions of employment.

Lesson Observation Protocol

Discussion was had about the continuing requirement to grade lessons according to Ofsted grade descriptors. The NASUWT voiced serious concerns over this and made the point that this was no longer a requirement from Ofsted. The NASUWT made it clear that any reference to Ofsted gradings would mean that we could not agree to the Trust’s lesson observation policy.

Facilities Times

The Trust does not pay into any local facility time arrangements. It would, however, consider other mechanisms to fund release. Currently, the Trust has stated it is happy to fund training for School Representatives.

Staff Survey Update

The results of the staff survey conducted across the Trust revealed that there is work to do around retention of staff.

There were also concerns about the progression of part-time workers, something that the Trust has actioned and will report back on at the next meeting.

This will now form part of the agenda on a regular basis.

The NASUWT will arrange meetings with all NASUWT members at your school on request. If you need professional advice, either individually or collectively, you should contact the NASUWT. You can contact your Local, Federation or Negotiating Secretary for advice as well as your NASUWT Regional Centre.

The NASUWT Member Support Advice (MSA) Team provides professional advice on telephone number 03330 145550. They will provide you with telephone numbers and which of the above would be your appropriate point of contact, as well as providing instant advice.

As the National Negotiating Official and representative at all meetings with Leigh MAT, please contact Paul Watkins for advice at

Teachers' Cost of Living Pay Award 2015-16

The Leigh Academy Trust (LAT) has agreed to pay 1% uplift to all LAT teachers. This is disappointing as it is not in line with the recommendations of the 2015 School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) which referred to the following:

  • an uplift of 1% to the minima and 2% to the maxima of the main pay range;
  • an uplift of 1% to the minima and maxima of all other classroom teacher pay ranges, including the upper, leading practitioner and unqualified teacher ranges;
  • an uplift of 1% to the minima and maxima of TLR and SEN allowances.

This now means that teachers on the maxima of the main pay range are potentially worse off than those working in schools where they have agreed to pay the 2%.