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CD removes paper weight

CD-Roms are replacing paperwork at a junior school which is working to slash its teachers' admin burden.

Head Andy Tromans began using discs two years ago because staff at Ocker Hill school in Tipton, West Midlands, were buried in paper.

Each half-term he now gives them a CD-Rom containing curriculum support material, lesson plan templates, the latest Government advice, school policies, and details of useful websites and health and safety information.

Mr Tromans has been invited to train new heads to use his scheme, and is discussing with Sandwell education authority how to extend the project to other schools.

He said cutting paperwork had lowered staff stress levels and boosted recruitment; the number of applicants for each vacancy at Ocker Hill has risen from one to 14 since the scheme started.

All 12 teachers at the school get laptops which they use to tweak template lesson plans. "We expect that teachers will change 20 per cent of the teaching plans to reflect new resources and ideas, but it saves them typing out the other 80 per cent again," Mr Tromans said.

"It also means that they don't have to cart 16 files home. "I want my teachers to come in bright-eyed and enthusiastic. And when a pupil asks them if they saw Blue Planet, or something else good on TV, they don't say: 'No, I was up late doing literacy planning.'"

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