Teachers last to know about slim down

30th January 1998 at 00:00
As a new headteacher coming to terms with the challenge of the job, I often find that the excitement of new changes acts as a strong motivator. However the recent Government announcement about impending changes to the emphasis of the national curriculum filled me with a sense of frustration greater than any I have felt in a long time.

I am not one of those teachers who moans at every change that comes my way. I have always been a strong advocate for slimming down the national curriculum.

My gripe is that I got to hear about this wonderful news after spending a whole Saturday with my senior management team and several hours on my own afterwards trying to produce a whole school curriculum framework. The idea was to map all the programmes of study in the national curriculum into a two-year cycle (in line with our Office for Standards in Education action plan).

I called an emergency meeting to present our hard work to the rest of the staff and ask them to do the rest. A member of staff kindly asked me if I had heard the news on the radio. The discussions that followed, needless to say, negated the necessity of meeting at all in the first place.

Everyone came to the intelligent conclusion that we had better wait till the Government told us exactly what we were going to be doing. The staff then cheerfully went about their usual business. As for me, I went back to my office in a sulk thinking about my wasted Saturday (among other things) and more than a trifle annoyed that we teachers always seem to be the last to know.

FLORENCE OLAJIDE

Headteacher Crawford primary school London SE5

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