Welcome to our winter newsletter
A message from Steve Iredale, NAHT past president and chair of the National Life Members Committee (NLMC)
Welcome to our final Life Members newsletter of 2018.
As ever we are grateful for the varied contributions from a variety of sources and hope you find them interesting and informative. If we are to sustain and develop the newsletter moving into 2019 we really do need contributions from more Life Members who have the time to put pen to paper and wax lyrical! If you have an ideas, thoughts and helpful feedback please do get in touch with us.
Life Members and NAHT’s press campaigns activity
You’re the Voice: How Life Members regularly play a part in supporting NAHT’s press and campaigns activity.
NAHT’s press office is a small operation with big ambitions. Our aim is to make sure that NAHT is known as the clearest, most informed voice on children and young people’s education in the UK.
And of course, it’s essential to use that influence at the highest levels of government to create real change for leaders and learners everywhere.
The press office is staffed by Steven George, the head of press and media campaigns and Rose Tremlett, NAHT’s senior press officer. They sit in the Policy, Press and Communications Directorate and they report to Nick Brook, the deputy general secretary.
Thanks to Steven and Rose, NAHT has a much larger share of the voice than any other education union except for NEU, which is more than 10 times our size.
NAHT’s press office has other objectives besides maintaining the association’s market share. It’s vitally important to protect and enhance NAHT’s reputation, to make sure that when we speak, politicians, policy-makers and parents sit up and listen. We also aim to build coalitions of support for key campaigns and to support members’ media requirements.
The school funding campaign is a great example of how all these aims have come together in one place. Its barely possible to pick up a newspaper or turn on the news without coming across a new story about school funding.
Life members have played an important part in this campaign, by adding their voices to the cacophony of serving school leaders calling for proper funding for schools and colleges. Sometimes it’s easier to make a stand if you are not in school any more. For one thing there’s a bit more time available and for another, there’s not the danger of exposing your school to risk by speaking out on a subject that’s close to your heart.
Many Life Members made their way to Westminster at the end of September to join more than 2,000 serving school leaders who were lobbying the government for more funding. The demonstration was reported everywhere, thanks to the efforts of the press team at NAHT.
Another way that Life Members can make a valuable contribution is by participating in the research that the policy team produces. NAHT’s recent Improving School Accountability report has helped to shape current thinking on the future of inspection and has put extreme pressure on Ofsted to change the way it operates. The report was widely covered in the media, including an unprecedented takeover of the TES website.
Steven and Rose prioritise their time and focus on proactive work that has a direct link to NAHT’s five campaign priorities. They write and polish NAHT’s public-facing messages including press releases, comments, blogs, speeches, letters and some briefings for MPs.
They meet, brief and support members, spokespeople and journalists on priority campaign areas to guarantee consistency of message through all channels and they support regional teams to secure media coverage of our campaign priorities in their area by providing tailored press releases and one-to-one support. They provide individual support to the President, general secretary and deputy general secretary on press and parliamentary matters as well as making time to help members who are in difficulty with the press.
And most importantly of all they always make sure that NAHT’s messages fully reflect the diversity of the association’s membership. So, if you need help yourself or you have something you can add to NAHT’s mission, Rose and Steven would be delighted to hear from you. Just email email@example.com.
Life Members Task and Finish Group
As mentioned in previous newsletters the National Executive Committee of the NAHT agreed in June to set up the above group to examine a number of key issues relating to Life Members. The members of the group are the general secretary, president, immediate past president, director of membership services, director of democracy and governance and five members of the National Life Members Committee, namely Hilary Alcock, John Killeen, Mike Wilson, Donal McCarthy and Steve Iredale. John Killeen was elected committee chair with Anne Lyons as vice-chair. The group had its initial meeting in September to begin to scope the work to be done which falls broadly into three categories or strands -
Strand 1 - Attendance, participation and equality - Life members having full representation on the NEC.
Strand 2 - Constitutional issues, voting rights and equality of Life Members
Strand 3 - Benefits of Life Membership
It is our current aim to conclude all the work we have set ourselves ahead of annual conference in 2020 so that the newly created offer/Life Members package can be shared and debated with all NAHT members ahead of any decision making.
During our first meeting it quickly became clear that focussing on the future Life Member offer (whatever that may look like) was the most logical starting point for developments. We also agreed it made sense as part of this work to review the benefits offer for all NAHT members, regardless of their membership category, which will then lead to a full review of specific benefits for Life Members. It is our expectation that starting to develop a new offer will lead to the necessary review and updating of both constitutional and representational issues which remain priorities for us. Our Life Members survey carried out earlier this year is already proving really helpful with the thoughtful responses and comments we received giving us a sense of what many Life Members are thinking.
The Membership Services team at HQ have been tasked with working on the potential revised NAHT ‘free to access for all’ membership benefits and are due to report back on their initial work in November. This will then hopefully lead to more focussed work on what specific benefits for Life Members might look like. This could include for example things like health care, navigating the social care system, insurance for the over 70’s etc.
Obviously we are the very early stages so will endeavour to keep Life Members informed of progress during the coming months. It is our intention to produce a survey during 2019 to get a view on the developments we are making.
Prostate Cancer Awareness - Kim Johnson
Fundraising for Men’s Health on 2 Wheels with Ian Wright and other Bikers.
Before retirement came to us ...We all spent a lot of time encouraging our staff team to look after themselves so their incredible value in front of children could be realised. The specific topic of men’s health not always being something taken quite seriously, and more often than not it’s dismissed with the comment “Hey, I’m fine !”
Yet prostate cancer takes the life of one man every 45 mins in the UK.
Research into the disease, developments in diagnosis and treatment .... and programmes supporting men through the journey (however it ends) is being significantly funded each year by ‘Dapper’ Men & Ladies on motorbikes around the world. This year they raised $6 million and in the 41 rides in England it was my pleasure to take part in the London event with 1000 other bikers .... and there I met this fine fellow who waxes lyrical about how he had his life changed by a teacher at primary school, one very dear Mr Pigden.
The event — The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride held on the last Sunday in September since 2012.
So my fellow retired menfolk ..... do look after yourself, so you can enjoy your well earned retirement.
Kim Johnson. NAHT Past President & current Harley Davidson biker
Driving after 70 years of age
If you’re over 70 and want to keep on driving, you’ll have to renew your driving licence. What follows explains how you can renew your driving licence, and give you some advice to keep you safely on the road in later life.
How do I renew my driving licence after 70?
Once you reach the age of 70, your licence expires, but this doesn't automatically mean you have to stop driving. You just need to renew your driving licence if you want to continue. You'll need to renew it every 3 years after that. Renewal is free of charge.
If your licence expires and you don't apply for a new one, you won't legally be allowed to drive. The DVLA will send you a D46P application form 90 days before your 70th birthday.
If you have a photocard licence
To renew, fill in the form and return it to the DVLA with your current driving licence photocard. You may also need to include a new passport-type photo – the form will tell you if you need to do this. If you apply by post it can take up to three weeks.
If you have a paper licence
To renew, fill in the form and enclose an up-to-date passport-type photo. If you apply by post it can take up to three weeks.
You can also renew your licence using the GOV.UK website. You'll have to register and you'll be given step-by-step instructions on how to renew:
Find out more
To find out more about continuing to drive while your application is pending read the guidance on the GOV.UK website.
Teachers’ Pensions news update
HM Treasury has recently published details of the increases that will be applied to public service pensions (including teachers' pensions) from 9 April 2018, subject to the usual legislation process.
Further information can be found on the NAHT website here :
2018 Pensions increase - Public service pension schemes
Data Security - email
Teachers’ Pensions have during summer 2018 been informed of teacher members receiving emails imitating Teachers’ Pensions and some of these have asked members for their bank details.
Please be aware that these emails are not from Teachers’ Pensions and should be deleted. Teachers' Pensions would never ask members to confirm bank details over email. We always advise our members to be vigilant and check the sender information. For more information in recognising scam emails please see the Teachers’ Pensions website.
Teachers’ Pensions conduct a programme to trace members who are over their Normal Pension Age and are entitled to benefits or a refund within the scheme. This does ask for some personal information, however this is via a secure website.
Being retired isn’t the end
So you’ve retired. But before we get into all the usual clichés it’s worth remembering that where your pension is concerned, being retired isn’t the end. On the contrary, if there’s one time you want to really get on top of your pension, it’s now. So here is a run-through of a couple of the basics:
Will my pension increase?
Your pension is index linked to protect it from increases in the cost of living. The increases are paid in April, on the same date as increases in state social security benefits. They’re based on figures provided by HM Treasury. Pension Increases also apply to pensions paid by the Teachers’ Pension Scheme to widows, widowers, pension credit members, nominated partners, civil partners, children and dependants.
What will be my Guaranteed Minimum State Pension?
When you start claiming your state pension, the government may pay some of the increase on your Teachers’ Pension with your state pension. This is because you may be entitled to a Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) in the state scheme.
The GMP consists of two elements:
- For service up to 5 April 1988, the Government will pay all pension Increases (PI) with your state pension. This part does not attract increases from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme
- For service after 5 April 1988, pensions increase (up to 3%) is paid by the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.
The balance will be paid by the Government with your state pension. When Teachers’ Pensions receive confirmation of your GMP from HMRC, Teachers’ Pensions adjust your pension. If you’re not entitled to a GMP, you’ll receive the full increase from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. If you look at the information provided with your P60 you’ll see a breakdown of how the different elements of your pension have been increased.
Please note that the Government are fundamentally changing the state pension system. You may have read about a “single-tier state pension” in the press, and if you reach state pension age after 6 April 2016, the rules may be different. When Teachers’ Pensions know more about this, they’ll let you know.
If you’ve any further questions about state benefits or GMP, please contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0845 300 0168.
Find out how to volunteer in your local community and give your time to help others.
What is it? Anyone can volunteer. It can be very rewarding and is a great way to meet new people, gain new or use existing skills, get experience and make a big difference to your community.
How can I get involved? There are lots of easy ways to give your time to help others – from having a cup of tea with an elderly neighbour, to helping out in your local area or making a regular commitment to volunteer with a charity or community group.
There are several organisations that can help you find a way to volunteer that suits you.
Do-it.org is a database of UK volunteering opportunities. You can search more than a million volunteering opportunities by interest, activity or location and then apply online.
You can also contact Volunteering England, Volunteer Scotland, Volunteering Wales, Jersey Charities, Guernsey Charities or Volunteering Matters to find opportunities in your area.
Join-in runs volunteering projects as a legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Contact them to find out about how to get involved with local sporting and community projects.
Special offers available to Life Members
Did you know that as an NAHT Life Member you can take advantage of specially negotiated offers from our carefully selected partners? For example you can take advantage of a 10% discount (up to £270) on hearing care, that’s tailored to suit your budget and needs. Plus, you can save money on a range of insurance products, including car, home, travel, pet, and professional indemnity/public liability, as well as enjoying 20% off private healthcare.
Find out more here.
Useful Websites & Links
Professor Lynda Gratton: The 100-Year Life