Unions need a reality check

5th September 2003 at 01:00
It is ironic that on the day that you publish a survey demonstrating the dire state of school budgets a teachers' organisation seeks to play down the extent of the crisis.

The deputy general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers states "we cannot have the implementation of the agreement undermined by schools letting staff go and not replacing them".

Does she not understand that many schools have no option?

Is it too much to ask that even those unions who are the most enthusiastic supporters of the workload reduction agreement should bring a sense of reality to the situation. If the unions are hell-bent on ramming through the agreement there will be far more disputes than there need be. The only solution is for teachers, schools and local authorities to work together.

This will be difficult enough without teachers' unions exhibiting a lack of understanding.

David Hart General secretary, National Association of Head Teachers Haywards Heath, West Sussex

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