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The contempt of uncivil servants

THE FACT that Carole Clayson wrote to Education Secretary David Blunkett in Braille and received a reply from a civil servant three months later comes as no great suprise (Friday magazine, February 18).

I have just attended a seminar for invited "leading" headteachers on the proposed teachers' pay reforms, at which we were treated with arrogance and ignorance by the civil servants present.

When asked by a head why they were rushing through the pay reforms when schools were unprepared, we were told that we had known about the proposals since late 1998 and should therefore be ready.

Like my colleagues at the seminar, I had presumed that we were being consulted on these proposals over the past 15 months.This was obviously not the case.

When those running the seminar were told that the timescale for teachers to complete their "threshold" application was too short due to the Easter holidays, key stage 1 and 2 tests, booster classes, etc. we were told they should complete them in their Easter holidays!

It is obvious that heads and teachers are being treated by the Department for Education and Employment and David Blunkett with utter contempt, as they have no understanding whatsoever of what is really going on in schools.

Perhaps a sabbatical at the chalkface might help.

PE Bishop

Headteacher

Vyner primary school

Bidston Village Road

Bidston

Birkenhead

Wirral

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