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Angered by yet another snub to primary staff

WHAT is going on? I read (TES, March 14) that the Government has "found" pound;6 million to allow teachers to take up to 10 days off next term to mark A-level and GCSE scripts.

Schools will receive pound;1,750 per examiner for supply staff and teachers could earn more than pound;600. I note that this is at a time when most pupils sitting public examinations are on study leave so they don't come to school from May onwards, thus there are very few lessons to teach anyway.

This is in contrast to teachers at key stage 1 who have had their burden of marking doubled due to the dual writing task and the separate level 2 and 3 test for maths. This, unlike all other public exams, is carried out in the teacher's own time while continuing to maintain a full teaching timetable during the day.

I suggest that the Government find a similar sum to allow Year 2 teachers 10 days away from the classroom to carry out their marking duties and pay them an extra pound;600 for doing so.

Alternatively, if the Government cannot or will not support teachers in this way, perhaps it is not too late to cancel the KS1 tests until they can arrange for external markers.

We have been compliant far too long. The extra assessment for 2003 is the straw that broke the camel's back.

Christine Bradbury 1 Ilkley Road Caversham Reading Berkshire

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