Monday, April 28, 2014


Jane Nellist (Coventry NUT and National Executive) was the first person ever to use the word “menopause” at the conference of the NUT. Teachers who have been classed as “outstanding” one year can suddenly find they are “in need of improvement” the next. Capability procedures are supposed to be used sensitively to help teachers improve their capability. It is worth reminding your head of this from time to time. They can also be used to remove teachers who are experienced and therefore expensive so that they can be replaced by younger and cheaper teachers.
There was also a strong indication in the debate that older teachers who know the ropes are more likely to be “bolshie” (A term I never use myself!) about some of the more insane changes management may wish to introduce or the latest fad in education or brainchild of the fevered secretary of state for education.
And in addition to all these pressures the hidden and hitherto unmentioned problem of changes brought about by the menopause exacerbates everything. Trying to cope with hot flushes and male colleagues who are unsympathetic or worse find them funny is no joke and the business of raising consciousness about this problem has only just begun.

There is a website which offers advice and information for people going through the menopause but alongside that there needs to be a discussion in the union which the Coventry resolution has begun.

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