Time out better than extra cash

13th February 1998 at 00:00
Teachers who take after-school activities do not want extra pay but time off instead, according to the results of a small-scale study in the Glasgow area. Agnes Macintosh, a home economics teacher at Kirkintilloch High, carried out a survey in four secondaries for a master's degree at Glasgow University and found the majority of teachers expressed reservations about payment for extracurricular activities, including sport.

Just fewer than half said there should be no financial carrots. A similar number liked the idea of extra cash but were cautious it would attract the wrong kind of teacher involvement. Staff said preparation time to organise activities was the greatest burden. They want time off in lieu.

Mrs Macintosh estimates at least a quarter of teachers are involved with activities out of school hours, primarily because it leads to better relationships with pupils. Almost half said there could be benefits for the formal curriculum and a third thought it helped classroom performance.

Staff who were not involved blamed workload and family commitments. Many cited poor school facilities and peer group pressure on pupils for low rates of activities.

Surprisingly, 90 per cent of staff involved in extracurricular activities were in the 41-50 age-group. It had been assumed that younger members of staff would be attracted to the extra duties.

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