A demanding job

6th March 2009 at 00:00

Christine Blower ("Today it's time to take stock of all the hours we give", February 27) strikes an important note that will be well supported in its intentions by all of us in teaching. Everyone is entitled to a life-work balance. However, I believe she made three significant omissions.

First, teaching is not a clock-in, clock-out, workbench occupation that can be put down and picked up. Teaching is a demanding job requiring planning, delivery, assessment and ongoing evaluation.

Second - and understandable from a representative of the NUT - she omits to mention the efforts taken by schools since the workforce agreement to redesignate administrative tasks away from teachers. Some, such as mine, have foreshortened Fridays so all staff have the opportunity of getting away early. I'm sure we will continue to devise ways to cut unnecessary workload, but the job will remain a demanding one.

Finally, Christine omits to reveal, in her nostalgic remembrance of the 1970s and 1980s, how hit-and-miss so much about schools was then. Yes, the opportunities to be involved in curriculum development were good, but they were not consistent and relied on people volunteering to be involved. Many students were left to drift and overall standards were inconsistent.

Barry Wratten, Headteacher, Churchill Community Foundation School and sixth form centre, north Somerset.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now