Trust may replace security blanket

11th May 2001 at 01:00
Estelle Morris tells us (TES, April 20) "I am not in favour of a 35-hour week ... it is not the mark of a profession to campaign for a 35-hour week."

I would argue that it was not the mark of a profession to have 1,265 hours minimum per annum slapped on it by the Tories with huge aspects of the job - not least planning, marking and report writing - left unquantifiable. That still pertains though some of us have ignored it as unprofessional and worked with colleagues on the basis of trust and mutual respect - and have been amply rewarded.

The groundswell to seek a maxium working week is based on the profession having no trust in a government driving through its agenda with scant regard for the well-being of those charged with its implementation.

The quicker this Government, which has done so much for schools, begins to demonstrate a genuine regard for its teachers through trust rather than a hoop-jumping culture and apparent obliviousness to workload, the quicker the profession will move away from the protective blanket of a 35-hour week.

Roy Cook

Head, Littletown primary

Honiton Bottom Road

Honiton, Devon

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