Teachers' agreement

19th January 2007 at 00:00
I listened to the media reports about the HMIE report on the teachers'

agreement and its impact on pupils' learning. What a load of nonsense.

Leaving aside the fact that the agreement was not designed to have that kind of measurable effect, it's my view that the agreement has been positive for teachers and students.

Walking through our school library during lunch break today, I was struck by the fact that it was full of kids playing chess, accessing computers, reading magazines and books. They were being supervised by three support assistants as well as the librarian. Those support assistants have been provided courtesy of additional funding to my local authority. That would not have been the case before the agreement.


A good example of a benefit to pupils must be that probationers seem to get much more training than we ever got in the old system. There also seems to be a more comprehensive and better organised programme of continuing professional development for all teachers.


Was the agreement actually meant to improve results? Surely it was about improving teachers' conditions so that they were in line with other professions? And how can we attract high-calibre people if they are not getting a decent wage?

I teach because I love the job and not because I want money, but if teaching did lag behind in the salary stakes, perhaps I would have to reconsider careers. Teaching is a vocation, but that doesn't pay bills.


The news even called the HMIE report an "inquiry", as if teachers had done something wrong. So much for harmonious relations at work.


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