TUC launches new online resources for schools and colleges

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date: 14 April 2011

embargo: 00.01hrs Monday 18 April 2011

The TUC is today (Monday) launching a new and unique set of learning resources for use in schools and colleges.

Designed for teachers to use in classrooms at secondary schools (key stage level 4 and above), the Unions into Schools website brings together a mass of historical and contemporary information, using rich content such as videos and role play activities to make learning about unions an exciting interactive experience.

The resources include lesson plans, slide presentations featuring videos, activities and quizzes, factsheets and links to other sites providing complementary materials to help extend students' understanding of unions, their history and the role they play in the contemporary workplace and society.

The Unions into Schools website is free to access and can be found at www.unionsintoschools.org.uk. It has been developed by the TUC in partnership with teaching unions, NASUWT, NUT and ATL, as well as UNISON, Unite and unionlearn, the education arm of the TUC. The site also features a wealth of historical content produced in partnership with the TUC Library Collections at London Metropolitan University.

There are five units to choose from, each linked to specific curriculum objectives in history, citizenship and personal, social, health and economic education, but they are also applicable to other subjects such as economics and business studies:

  • the essentials - a beginner's guide to unions, what they are, who they represent and what they do - is a great introduction for young people who have little or no prior knowledge of unions
  • working lives - a guide to unions and the modern world of work
  • rights and responsibilities - a basic guide to rights and responsibilities at work, ideal for those who have tasted work or are planning to start
  • history - a fascinating look at 200 years of British trade union history, featuring a series of four-minute documentaries on different periods of history, produced in partnership with the TUC Library Collections at London Metropolitan University, and
  • working for global justice - a look at union campaigns for global labour standards and human rights, with special profiles on key countries and a guide to planning and launching a campaign

Unions into Schools will be launched at the conferences of teaching unions NASUWT, NUT and ATL over the weekends of 16-18 and 23-25 April.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Unions play a key role in working life. They empower working people by giving them a voice and offering essential support in the workplace, and help businesses work better by encouraging fairer and more responsible working practices.

'Union members tend to be better paid, are less likely to have an accident at work and are more likely to be offered the chance to develop professionally through training schemes run in the workplace.

'It is vital young people are aware of the benefits of being in a union and understand that unions are not something from a bygone age, but are as relevant and important now as they've ever been.

'These lesson plans and presentations will help secondary school teachers easily incorporate education about unions and the world of work into their lessons.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Register for the TUC's press extranet: a service exclusive to journalists wanting to access pre-embargo releases and reports from the TUC. Visit www.tuc.org.uk/pressextranet

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk

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