Talking point

5th September 2003 at 01:00
The TES asked a selection of school staff if the workload agreement would work for them

Tom Cue, PE teacher, Bower Park comprehensive, Essex: "What's the point? Even if the school employs people to take the stress off, we'll end up doing the same amount of work. Our department sends out a lot of letters.

It takes the school office a week to type one up. And you've got to check what they've done. It's quicker just to do it yourself."

Phil Jones, head, Stacey primary, Cardiff: "This is more than lip service.

There's a genuine recognition that workload is excessive. But we have a deficit budget of about pound;20,000 and are struggling to find funds. If we're serious about lessening workload and giving a better education to children, we need more money and resources."

Greg Wallace, head, Woodbury Down primary, Hackney, east London: "I would love to release teachers for half a day a week, but we can't afford it.

Good supply is also difficult to find, and we're an inner-city school, so supply staff need preparation."

Stephen Wilkinson, head, The Queen Katherine comprehensive, Cumbria:

"Anything that allows teachers to concentrate on what they're trained to do is a good thing. But there would be a problem if we had to improve one area of teachers' conditions at the expense of another, such as pay."

Ella Dickson, maths teacher, Acland Burghley comprehensive, Camden, London:

"I'm not supposed to be collecting money any more, but I suspect I will.

The school is taking the agreement seriously, but things don't change. I don't think assistants should be allowed to take lessons. That's my job. " Penny Hunt, learning assistant, Eckington comprehensive, Sheffield: "The agreement provides people like me with a more interesting career. Also, it's better money. I don't see myself as a cheap teacher. I haven't had complaints from teachers here. Unless they do it behind my back."

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