SIR THOMAS PICTON SCHOOL will be closed all day on Tuesday (July 1) as a result of the industrial protest. Pembrokeshire County Council’s Director for Children and Schools, Jake Morgan, released a letter to parents offering no sympathy or support for the strike. He said in the letter:
“The action is in support of a national policy which requires all teachers to be appointed on their current rate of pay when they decide to move jobs. All authorities in the region are of the view that schools need to retain some flexibility about starting pay, particularly in relation to relief teachers. It has not been explained why Sir Thomas Picton has been targeted when other schools have the same policy. No school in Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot or Swansea has decided to take the same action despite the fact that the teachers who go on strike will not be out of pocket as their lost pay will be made good by their trade unions. The Governing Body of STP are meeting on July 9 where concerns will be considered. Given this, it is of great concern to the Authority that children and their families are disadvantaged prior to the governing body even having the opportunity to consider the concerns.”
However, the NAS/UWT responded with the following statement from Executive Member, Neil Butler, who said: “The simple issue is that the Governing Body of STP introduced a pay policy that is unacceptable to us, along with the NUT. Members asked us to take action at STP. There is also action being taken at Welshpool High School, Powys. This is an attack on teachers’ pay and we will take action in any school that has passed this policy.”
Gareth Lloyd, Wales Officer, NUT told the Herald: “It was with great reluctance that the NUT members at Sir Thomas Picton decided, alongside their colleagues in the NASUWT, to take industrial action. We met as trade unions with Jake Morgan, the Head of Sir Thomas Picton and the Chair of Governors today, to try to negotiate an agreement. They put a proposal to us which we put to our members. Following our meetings with our members we put a counter proposal to the authority which they rejected. They feel distressed that the recent letter from the ERW consortia is filled with inaccuracies and did little to help negotiations.”
“Our members feel very strongly about the principle of pay portability. This principle has been adopted in sixteen of the twenty two local authorities across Wales and endorsed by three of the four consortia. Only ERW has rejected the principle of pay portability. In terms of Pembrokeshire, this will mean that teachers applying for vacancies in the county will be offered less than their counterparts in the rest of Wales, for the same post. We are concerned that this will effect the long term education of the pupils. We do not take industrial action lightly but members in a number of schools across Pembrokeshire and the rest of the ERW region have contacted us with concerns over this proposal. Penglais School governors in Ceredigion averted strike action by adopting pay portability without exemption.”
“We are due to meet with Jake Morgan early next week and later that week present our case for pay portability to the full governing body. We are and have been prepared to negotiate with relevant stakeholders”
Lecture considers the future of war
INTERNATIONALLY renowned war scholar and military conflict expert, Professor Christopher Coker delivered this year’s Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture on Thursday (Nov 16).
Christopher Coker, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is a prolific author on all aspects of war. He is a former NATO Fellow, a former twice serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, US, Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo.
In his lecture entitled ‘Still ‘The Human Thing’? Thucydides, Waltz & the Future of War”, Professor Coker discussed war as a feature of what we call ‘human nature’ or ‘humanity’ in general, while focusing on urgent contemporary issues such as possible changes in the nature of war by the blurring of the distinction between humans and machines.
He also considered how, as Artificial Intelligence becomes ever more a fact of life, the traditional functions and forms of war could change, discussing such questions as: will we still need war and will war still need us?
Talking ahead of the the event, Professor Ken Booth of Aberystwyth University said: “Chris Coker is a very imaginative, interesting, and controversial thinker. Intellectually ambitious, he always addresses the biggest questions. The titles of some of his most recent books attest to this: Future War, Can War be Eliminated?, Warrior Geeks: how 21st Century Technology is Changing the Way We Fight and Think about War, The Improbable War: China, the US, and the Logic of Great Power Conflict and Men at War: what Fiction tells us about Conflict. We can be sure of a fascinating and challenging lecture about a supremely important area of human behaviour.”
The Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture brings distinguished scholars to Aberystwyth to talk about issues that were central to the concerns of the late Ken Waltz, the leading theorist of international relations over many decades.
Hosted by the David Davies Memorial Institute and the Department of International Politics, this year’s lecture was held in the Main Hall in the International Politics Building on the Penglais Campus.
Youth Service invited to international training event
TWO Youth Workers from Ceredigion Youth Service have been selected to represent the UK on a week’s training opportunity in Horažd’ovice in the Czech Republic.
‘The danger of a Single Story’ is a training course funded by Erasmus+, that combines stories, media, global education and active citizenship to empower trainers, educators and youth workers with the tools to educate young people on issues such as cyberbullying, hate speech, and online harassment.
Elen James, Head of Youth Engagement and Continuing Education, said: “We are extremely proud of both Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton, 270 people had applied, for 24 places, 2 were allocated for the UK and both places have been assigned to Ceredigion Youth Service staff.
“This is an excellent training opportunity for them, which will inform them and encourage them to reflect on the evolution of media and the consequences that it has on the formation of stereotypes and prejudices. We wish them all the best in Prague!”
Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton will join 22 other Youth Workers from Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey. The week will be hosted at the PROUD Environmental Centre approximately 120km from Prague, from Sunday (Nov 19) for a week.
Rebeca Davies, School Based Youth Worker said: “I’m really looking forward to visiting Prague, and meeting other Youth Workers from across the World. It will be a fantastic opportunity to learn new tools and techniques to encourage and empower young people back here in Ceredigion.”
Guto Crompton, School Based Youth Worker added: “I’m looking forward to learning more about different Youth Work methods and approaches. I’m also eager to develop a greater awareness around education, active citizenship and democracy.”
Cabinet member for Learning Services, Children and Young People’s Partnership, Councillor Catrin Miles, commented: “As a Council, we are very proud of the hard work of our Youth Service to the young people of the county. This will be a very important and worthwhile opportunity for Rebeca and Guto to represent Ceredigion and Wales and we wish them all the best at the event.”
Pot Noodles bought with theft proceeds
ON WEDNESDAY (Nov 15), Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court heard that a 23-year-old man stole an HDMI cable from a store and sold it for a tenner to buy ten Pot Noodles.
Joel Alexander Owens, of Portland Street in Aberystwyth, pleaded guilty to stealing alcohol to the value of £24.96 belonging to his hometown’s B&M Bargains on June 29. He also admitted stealing an HDMI cable to the value of £14 belonging to Tesco in Aberystwyth on September 24.
Prosecuting, Helen Tench said a staff member at B&M was notified by a member of the public about a male who left the store without paying for items.
CCTV footage was checked, which showed Owens select a number of alcoholic items and leaving the store without making any payments.
Police officers later viewed the footage and identified the defendant.
On October 14, a member of staff at Tesco was informed of the incident at B&M. The Tesco CCTV footage was viewed as a result and the defendant was seen removing an HDMI cable from its box on September 24 and leaving without paying.
Ms Tench said Owens was interviewed on October 19, where he admitted committing the offences in his personal statement.
The defendant also admitted he sold the HDMI cable for £10 in order to buy ten Pot Noodles.
Defending, Katy Hanson said Owens pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and admitted to stealing beer and cider from B&M.
Probation officer Julian Davies stated that the defendant was currently serving a 12-month community order for two previous offences of theft and a breach of a conditional discharge.
Aberystwyth magistrates revoked Owens community order and imposed a 12-month community order with 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a four-week curfew.
Owens was told to pay prosecution costs of £85, compensation of £14 to Tesco and compensation of £24.96 to B&M Bargains.
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