A right to take action

7th December 2012 at 00:00

I read with amusement Anna Trethewey's piece entitled "What do we want? No direct action!" (Comment, 30 November). As a teacher with 35 years' service, I rather like the current action. It allows me to focus on my core responsibilities. Pupils' learning is not affected and I can guarantee that my non-contact periods will not be taken and I can use the time to support my teaching. I can manage the tyranny of the internal email. I can also reject excessive observations driven by Ofsted in favour of those agreed within a performance management system. Action short of strike action does not stop me from running extracurricular activities, and I can reject "voluntary" ones imposed by management. The "essential" meetings that Trethewey cites should be on the calendar just as staff meetings are. Proper planning of activities demonstrates good management, recognises our contractual entitlements and shows respect for our interests. The action may not move the government but it puts me in control.

Louis Kavanagh, Teacher, Solihull.

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