Discord hits historic accord

11th February 2005 at 00:00
It was the deal that promised so much for schools: solving teachers'

complaints about workload and giving greater recognition to classroom assistants.

It also helped ministers look as if they were doing something about the long-term supply of teachers.

Yet the school workforce agreement, signed by the Government, employers and all school staff unions except the National Union of Teachers and the Welsh teaching union UCAC, has been dogged by problems.

Ministers hoped to smooth the way by introducing it in three phrases (see below) but, six months after the deal should have reaped rewards, the average number of hours worked by primary teachers and heads had increased.

Now in the run-up to the final and most difficult phase, the National Association of Head Teachers is threatening to pull out as primary heads say they will struggle to give their teachers guaranteed non-contact time.

September 2003

Worklife balance clauses added to teachers contract. Leadership and management time introduced.

Teachers no longer expected to do routine tasks such as: collect money; chase absences; bulk photocopy; copy-type; produce class lists; keep records; do filing; put up displays; analyse attendance; collate pupil reports; organise work experience, exams or teacher cover; order supplies; fix computer problems; stocktake; take minutes at meetings; co-ordinate and submit bids; manage or input pupil data.

September 2004

Teachers to spend no more than 38 hours a year covering for colleagues.

September 2005

Teachers stop invigilating exams. Also freed from classroom for 10 per cent of week to do planning, preparation and assessment. Introduction of dedicated headship time.

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