No complacency here

5th September 2008 at 01:00

The Training and Development Agency for Schools has been responsible for helping schools to implement the agreement. Hilary Emery, the agency's executive director for development and improvement, spoke to The TES of challenges still to be faced.

How well has the agreement been put in place?

Very well. We have seen enormous changes in the way teachers now work. It is probably best summed up by a teacher I recently bumped into who said: "Hasn't there always been PPA time?"

But our survey suggests it has not been implemented fully by nearly half of schools.

Our evidence is that all schools, almost without exception, have applied the key elements as they were rolled out.

What does happen, though, as you have changes of leadership, or if schools go through difficulties, is that some aspects of the agreement may lapse. There should be no complacency. There remain aspects of the agreement that are quite challenging for schools to introduce, such as dedicated headship time.

What should teachers do if the agreement is not being implemented in their school?

They should raise the issue within their school with their union representative. If it can't be resolved, then it may need to go to the local authority.

What aspect of the agreement have schools found most difficult?

That varies enormously. In a large secondary, the challenges around PPA time were not substantial because size means they have always had flexibility. But a small primary school may have had to work much more radically.

Schools that most successfully got to grips with the agreement had a change in the management process, involving a team made up of people from right across the school.

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