Form tests staff pain threshold

7th July 2000 at 01:00
THE online threshold application form is an inept piece of software produced by a Whitehall department with enough resources to do a proper job.

As the partner of an applicant trying to complete the form I was very aware of the extra time taken battling with the ad-hoc approach to formatting and logic in the form.

It became obvious after many attempts that there would be the sudden appearance of rogue pages, that spacings would change unaccountably and that no matter how hard one tried one could not produce a finished document that was consistent, let alone acceptable.

No amount of effort, short of rewriting the whole document, could produce a satisfactory outcome.

As a non-teacher I find the situaion with the form symbolises the state of education in England. No matter how much time and effort teachers put in to their jobs, they will be fortunate to produce a satisfactory result.

Staff must recognise that the inadequacy of the infrastructure and resources at their disposal is not their fault and that they can only do their best.

I would urge the Department for Education and Employment to recognise its own failings and speedily arrange compensation for the hundreds, if not thousands, of hours teachers have wasted on trying to make the threshold form into a satisfactory piece of finished text.

Bernard Hyde

91 Prince Charles Avenue


Isle of Sheppey


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