Pastoral workers lose out in 'rushed' reforms

2nd December 2005 at 00:00
For Anne Welsh, the replacement of management allowances has been painful.

"I am more stressed this term than ever before. The staffing restructure has been very time consuming and not something I would have chosen to do at this moment in the development of my school," said the headteacher of George Stephenson secondary, North Tyneside.

In common with most schools, the changes will create winners and losers, although Mrs Welsh says most staff with management allowances will not lose out.

The former president of the Secondary Heads Association, decided to reduce the number of teachers receiving payments from 41 to 38 and replace her departing deputy head with a business manager.

Curriculum leaders of English, maths and science will get pay rises of about pound;1,700 after the award of a TLR1.3 worth pound;9,500. By contrast, pastoral posts will be axed from the teaching structure.

Mrs Welsh said: "The majority of our posts were focused on teaching and learning anyway. The most fundamental difference is the move from having teachers as head of year to having support staff taking on the role."

At the end of the three-year transition period the school's staffing costs will be between pound;20,000-30,000 lower than at present.

Although she describes discussions with unions as positive she said the process could have been handled better if the school had been given more time.

The changes, coinciding with extra burdens imposed by Ofsted's new self-evaluation inspections, have increased stress.

Mrs Welsh said: "It has been rushed and given us a large amount of additional pressure. It would have been good to have had more time to consider the issues and talk to people about it.

"Whilst they were given information many months ago, they did not fully understand, or accept, the implications of the changes until we were into the consultation itself.

"The uncertainty has worried them most. "And they did not believe that their unions had signed up to something that could lose them money."

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