Stress defies understanding

22nd November 1996 at 00:00
My partner would no doubt dispute my opinion that our life together is over mainly because of the stress that she has had to endure in her occupation as a deputy headteacher of a primary school. I firmly believe that that was the major cause of her leaving me, because "I did not understand".

Would you please permit me the opportunity to ask if you teachers consider that the following two experiences (of very many) with which I have been closely associated are, in your opinion, acceptable to people who are described as "professionals" and have the care of our future generations in their hands: * attending a course where the accommodation was a large country house, where bedrooms were shared by two teachers with the bathroom down the corridor; * attending an interview for a headship where the chair of governors was a probationary teacher from another school.

I have been in business for many years and I know of no situation where, from the lowest rung, I or anyone else, has been expected to share a bedroom that was not en- suite or been judged for a post by someone of inferior expertise or experience.

I do not think that anyone should have to understand this sort of mismanagement.

Governors must be trained in their work if they are to continue doing such an important job. They too must be professional and not amateurs. Personally, I do not believe that the governor system can ever work in its present form and is an abdication of its responsibilities by the Government and a cost-saving opportunity.

Lastly, I also do not understand why you have so many unions. You are a house divided by its own occupants, creating a major weakness of which others do take advantage. I have witnessed so many occasions where teachers demean themselves and their portion by accepting work which no one would dare write into any job description.

Call me arrogant, but we outside education are in step. You are out of step with the norm and are assisting in creating far-reaching effects in a future worse than the present.

Name and address withheld

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