Empty promises about balance

4th March 2005 at 00:00
Your article "Head told to pension off staff to save cash" (TES, February 18) will have drawn the attention of most heads, if only in the hope that they may be the ones who could be pensioned off.

The checklist from the National Remodelling Team, with its money-saving tips on how to "raise" money to pay for PPA, is a disgrace. It is an insult to heads who have struggled for years to find money for various underfunded initiatives.

This is the same National Remodelling Team which is "rolling out" (its words) an agreement which has words in it such as "work-life balance".

Its list of wheezes to raise money, which envisages "catering staff offering catering to outside organisations", also offers the following risible suggestions. Has the school thought of its headteacher training to become a National College for School Leadership consultant leader, who could then offer consultancy to other schools? Is there any other consultancy work the head could do? Could the head speak at conferences or run training courses?

Tell that to the primary head who teaches for most of the week, is the first call for cover, and will probably provide PPA by taking on a greater workload.

Was not this agreement drawn up because school staff, including the leadership group, have been overworked for years, or has our branch missed something?

Is it not about work-life balance anymore? Have the words been taken out, and nobody told us? It seems that they must have been and we missed it: we were all too busy working.

Joyce M Kitwood

Secretary, Leeds branch

National Association of Headteachers

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