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Dear diary

I am currently leading a research study on the implementation of the teachers' agreement, A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century.

You will be aware that this contains a commitment to an independent assessment of the number of hours worked by teachers to measure the impact of the agreement. With that in mind, the Scottish Executive has commissioned this research on behalf of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers.

There are three elements to the research. First, local authority and school-based policies on working time will be analysed and 10 sets of local negotiating joint secretaries will be interviewed to enable more detailed analysis.

Second, time-use diaries will be sent out to 2,400 teachers to provide data on the actual hours worked by teachers in pre-school, primary, secondary and special school sectors. The diaries will include some contextual questions to gather further qualitative data.

Third, individual interviews, focus group meetings and questionnaires will lend greater depth to the headline data.

The outcome of the research will be a research report and summary, which will be delivered to the SNCT at the end of April 2006.

We are in the process of sending out the first round of time-use diaries to schools, and I am writing now to draw this to the attention of headteachers and teachers. The success of the project will depend on those colleagues taking the time to complete these diaries and returning them to the research team.

Ian Menter Chair of teacher education University of Glasgow

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