Ministers admit workload strain

15th June 2001 at 01:00
Why will ministers not go for a 35-hour week (which I believe is what civil servants are aspiring to)? And why are headteachers also opposed to it?

The answer seems plain to me. Because, at last, both are covertly admitting that teachers simply cannot do the job in 35 hours. In fact they cannot do it in less than 50 hours, but try putting that fact out as a recruiting ploy.

As I stated at the recent Association for Teachers and Lecturers conference, a new contract is not just so that we can have quality time but also because it would attract new blood into the profession. Let's face it, more daft "rent-a-teacher" schemes and the hackneyed "we'll get more amin and technical support in" ideas make the profession look like an old blow-up doll: covered in quick-fix plasters, prone to collapse under pressure and full of nothing but cold air!

Give us what we want. A proper professional contract with, at the top, in bold print: "A teacher is not required to work more than 35 hours in a week" NOT "any additional time the head deems reasonable".

The ludicrous ideas mooted in your article ("Ministers seek to cut teaching time", TES, June 1) are impractical, and do nothing for secondary teachers, as well as very little for primary colleagues.

Brian Waggett

20 Melrose Avenue, Southport

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now