At this time of year, we envy our colleagues in independent and private schools who have closed their doors for this school year. Yet here in the state sector we struggle on until late July. The weather is hot, the pupils have lost interest in school work, and teachers are feeling drained and exhausted.
Twenty years ago, when I started teaching, we used to wind down slowly in the summer term. The A-level students and Year 11 students departed, and there seemed to be time to plan and organise for the forthcoming term. Now, we are hurtling along on a rollercoaster. The terms have become longer, the holidays shorter, the paperwork has increased, the non-contact time has decreased - the result? A teacher's lot is not a happy one!
13 Bacton Road