'Kelly alienated us'

6th May 2005 at 01:00
William Stewart asks NAHT delegates what they think about Mick Brookes, the union's new leader, teaching and learning and responsibility payments (TLRs) and who should be the next Education Secretary.

Colm Davis, head of Tor Bank special school, Belfast and president of Northern Ireland NAHT: "Mick Brookes's priorities should be to try and unite the organisation; it needs strong leadership. There seems to be quite a lot of internal politics about his appointment."

Jocelyn Bunbury, of Colvestone primary, Hackney, London: "I think Mick Brookes has to steel himself because it is not going to be an easy road. Members are looking for somebody to support them through difficult times. His first three months will be critical because people will be watching."

Stephen Watkins, head of Potternewton primary, Leeds: "TLRs are an ill-thought-out cock-up. Manage-ment points will continue for three years so we won't have any money for new roles unless they are going to be double-funded and I can't see that happening. It is a real worry."

Christine Gough, head of Witnesham primary, near Ipswich: "The timescale for introducing TLR payments is ridiculously short and the information is very limited. Heads are still not fully aware of the complexities."

Lorna Walter, head of Sherwin Knight infant, Rochester, Kent: "Ruth Kelly should not continue as education secretary. She is wet behind the ears. She had the opportunity to say yes to Tomlinson and instead said no and alienated us."

Susan Woods, head of Long Ditton St Mary's junior, near Surbiton: "I would like the next education secretary to be Stephen Twigg. I have heard him speak and he is passionate, knows what he is talking about, and he listens."

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