Holyrood factor sets a new benchmark

15th June 2001 at 01:00
David Henderson reports from Perth on the pressure building up in staffrooms to harden the union's case for a 'radical adjustment' to internal assessment

TEACHERS in England and Wales envy the ability of the Scottish Parliament to protect education and deliver a pay and conditions deal streets ahead of anything south of the border, Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said in an address to the conference.

"There needs to be better pay and working conditions and we have modelled what we want on what you have got," Mr McAvoy said.

Improved salar structures, limits on workload from the 35-hour week and allocated preparation and correction time would be welcomed in England and Wales.

Labour's first term had been "a mixed balance sheet" south of the border. It had repaired or rebuilt 17,000 of 25,000 schools and employed 11,000 more teachers with the promise of more to come.

But there were still league tables, standardised testing, selection and naming and shaming. In Labour's second term, Mr McAvoy forecast a "two-tier system" as 40 per cent of schools moved towards specialisation and attracted extra funds.

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