Reluctant to shoulder a bigger burden

9th March 2001 at 00:00
TALK of shifting more responsibilities onto schools sends a shudder through primary teachers at the Cathedral School of St Saviour amp; St Mary Overie in Southwark.

Lying in the shadow of Southwark Cathedral in inner-city London, the school already had enough on its plate, staff said. Nor was there any enthusiasm for negotiating their own pay and conditions.

"It all depends on the relationship staff have with the headteacher," said key stage 1 co-ordinator Vicky Jamieson. "It wouldn't be an issue in this school, but if you don't get on with the head there could be problems."

Teachers thought that pay and conditions were best set in a national forum. As for local authorities, they might not be perfect, but they broadly had the right responsibilities.

Head Sylvia Morris said she waned the roles of head, governors and council to be clarified, but added: "I would not like to see special needs or home transport being delegated to schools."

But Year 2 teacher Caroline Rolf wanted the authorities to take a bigger interest in schools. "I would like to hear their thoughts on what the Government is doing and how it will affect us."

Judy Spanswick, a Year 3 teacher at the 236-pupil voluntary-aided school, said schools already had enough responsibilities delegated to them. "Staff have to cope with a lot of paperwork which takes up valuable time," she said.

Year 4 teacher Zoe Smith warned against a one-size-fits-all solution. "Every school is so different," she said. "We are in a school that is well-organised but it would be different if a school were struggling."

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