The verdict: Teachers

1st June 2001 at 01:00
Pat Dwyer, acting head, West Benton high school, Newcastle:

"Labour has not taken the teacher shortage - the major issue facing schools - seriously enough. A short-term pay-out for recruits is not enough. If we want to keep good teachers we need to give them non-contact time.

The Liberal Democrats honesty in saying they will raise tax to increase education spending is impressive." Verdict on Labour record: 510

Anthony Handley, Coloma Convent girls' school, Croydon, London: "I'm pleased that the proportion of national income spent on education is rising. But Labour have not listened to teachers. The education environment is more stressful without necessarily being more productive. I voted Labour in 1997 but am switching to the Liberal Democrats this time. I and most teachers simply do not trust the Conservatives." 5.510

Louise Robinson, special needs teacher at Livingstone primary, Barnet, London: "I am not ipressed by any of the parties. The next government needs to cut paperwork and treat teachers as professionals. It is obvious it needs to address training. You can't find qualified special needs teachers." 610

Colin Harris, head, Warren Park primary, Hampshire: "Generally things have improved quite substantially. There's definitely more money. There has been a large number of initiatives and many have been very good." 7.510

Selena Cook, Penrhos county primary, Swansea: "It's different for teachers in Wales. A lot that happens in England does not have the same importance here. We always seem to be a year or so behind because of wrangling between the Welsh Assembly and Westminister. I like the literacy strategy. It's not compulsory in Wales but we follow it as closely as we can. But Labour relies too much on our goodwill. It would be nice to have more recognition of the effort we put in." 610

Jon Slater


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