Supply success

5th July 1996 at 01:00
Laura Peters (TESS, June 21) highlights very successfully some of the problems faced by supply teachers in the former Strathclyde Region. She fails, however to explain just how these problems affect schools as well as teachers.

Over the past three months we at Timeplan have spoken with hundreds of teachers and headteachers. The picture that emerges is one of uncertainly and - all too often - confusion.

Our approach differs from that of local authorities in that we treat both teachers and schools as clients. Our success in England has always been based on the simple assumption that we either satisfy both parties or go out of business. Of course we have had our share of controversy.

The proposition that a service run by teachers rather than administrators might actually be more responsive to the needs of the education community came as a bit of a shock to some.

The real test of character for Strathclyde's successors will be in their preparedness to put aside old political prejudices in favour of ensuring that headteachers, and supply teachers, have free access to the most professional service available.

Adrian Heffernan

General manager

Timeplan Scotland

307 West George Street

Glasgow

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