First prove its worth

29th September 2000 at 01:00
I WOULD be interested to know in what way the much-vaunted continuing professional development so beloved of those who do not work in the classroom will be in any way better than that which is inflicted on teachers in the name of "training" at present. By what miracle will any committee, no matter how full of "human resource" (yuk!) experts manage to alter the situation?

I propose an alternative:

Scrap the present five days of "in-service training" and bring the pupils in and teach them for the full 195 days of the present school year. Scrap also the McCrone report proposals for teachers to lose five days of holiday to attend so-called courses.

Force the course providers to prove their relevance to th teaching of those attending. Only attendance at courses of such proven worth would justify teachers' absence from the classroom.

The money saved on fees, travel expenses etc would, I believe, more than pay for supply teachers to cover for the now greatly reduced number of such absences. It should also provide for full additional pay for any teachers choosing to attend such courses in their own time, including weekends and holidays.

I do not expect that such practical proposals will find much approval from the bureaucrats who live by the proliferation of paper and useless waffle - the kind who brought us such inane "bumf" as How Good Is Our School?

Rory Shand

Holburn Road


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