A lively TUC Congress took place in Brighton from 8-11 September. There were a range of motions debated and a number of key note speakers, including Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer, as well as a video presentation from New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Focus was largely placed on Brexit and the priorities of the TUC and its members in the time of a forthcoming General Election.
The AEP had submitted a motion called ‘Ban the booths!”, calling for a ban on the use of isolation booths in schools. This was subsequently composited with NASUWT’s motion and resulted in a motion entitled ‘Pupil Behaviour and Mental Health’.
General Secretary Kate Fallon spoke on the motion on behalf of the AEP, calling for the use of isolation in schools to be urgently reviewed by the government, and for this to either be stopped altogether- or to be regulated, reported and reduced. Kate highlighted a recent announcement by the government of a £10m fund to improve behaviour in schools and called for assurances that this money will not be spent on isolation units or booths. Kate stated that instead “the focus should be on supporting approaches which promote long term positive relationships between adults and children within an environment of mutual respect which will result in good long-term outcomes for all.”
The motion was supported by other unions, including NEU and Prospect, and was adopted by the TUC; the AEP also received extensive coverage on social media and the motion was widely supported. For more information, and transcripts of speeches at Congress, please visit the TUC website.