Muddled thinking of workload deal rebels

22nd April 2005 at 01:00
Your leader in last week's TES ("Heads' new leader wins popular vote") talked about the National Association of Head Teachers misjudging the mood of many of its members.

However, a more serious misjudgement may well have accompanied the decision to pull out of the workload agreement. As I understand it, those who support withdrawal believe that it will give the NAHT greater strength in negotiations at national and local level and produce new money particularly for primary schools.

I think that this is an incorrect analysis. Influence comes from being inside the agreement. These objectives could have been pursued without withdrawal.

I have yet to see any coherent strategy which will lead the NAHT back into the agreement and produce the funding that our members consider lacking.

There are thousands of NAHT members who have already implemented the agreement or plan to in September.

Their interests need to be represented by the NAHT and they will certainly not be helped if the strategy that accompanied withdrawal leads to confrontation nationally or locally.

The bottom line is that the teachers' workload agreement incorporates contractual and statutory changes that haveto be delivered for the benefitof the entire profession andthat there is a duty on employers to support headteacherswhose schools are in particular difficulty when it comes to implementation.

David Hart General secretary NAHT 1 Heath Square Boltro Road Haywards Heath West Sussex

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