QA

9th May 2008 at 01:00
As a secondary English teacher, I am constantly told by other subject colleagues that I must have one of the heaviest marking workloads
As a secondary English teacher, I am constantly told by other subject colleagues that I must have one of the heaviest marking workloads. Should all main scale subject teachers get the same time for marking and preparation? Or do some of us deserve more time?

John, Warwickshire

A: Your colleagues are candid and honest in sharing their perceptions with you on your heavier marking load. But try telling them that you therefore deserve more marking and preparation time and I suspect they won't be quite so supportive. Staffrooms are full of folk who will tell you that they work harder than everyone else, and they are usually figures of fun. - Linda, Worthing

A: Too often we are constrained by one-size-fits-all conditions of service that do not reflect the differing workloads. This is inequitable, and it should not be beyond the wit of the educational hierarchy to come up with some sort of arrangement that is more reflective of these demands. After all, it is your colleagues who have recognised this, so you can hardly be accused of blowing your own trumpet. - Heather, London

A: Even if your argument was valid in principle (and I do think you have a point), I would argue against the allocation of extra time to certain subjects over others. For one thing, it might be almost impossible to come up with an equitable formula. But even more importantly, it divides the staffroom - and this can never be good. - Rod, Middlesex

COMING UP

Q: Pupils are increasingly missing our lessons to go on trips during the school day organised by other departments. Our subject rarely takes pupils away from other areas. Am I unreasonable to object to this constant disruption to the curriculum?

Q: Our headteacher likes to have hymn singing in assemblies, as she feels it builds community spirit. Yet whatever tradition the hymns come from, they are bound to conflict with many pupils' personal views in a multicultural school. Should pupils be pressurised into singing words they don't believe?

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