View from the floor

14th April 2006 at 01:00
The TES asked delegates at the ATL conference about their biggest concerns: Shirley Barnwell, secondary maths teacher from Cheshire, said the creation of children's services departments would make teachers more vulnerable to malicious allegations. "My former school is a good school but even it had allegations where pupils were witnessed injuring themselves and then blaming teachers. Social workers are more likely to blame teachers."

Bob Skelley, a secondary English teacher from inner London: "The key issue is the curriculum. It is too prescriptive and undervalues the professionalism of teachers."

Hilary Longman, secondary art and design teacher at Claremont Fan Court independent school in Claremont, Surrey, said private school teachers have fewer discipline problems to cope, but a heavier workload. "I work in after-school clubs, at lunchtimes and Saturday mornings. Colleagues in the state system asked to do that would say 'you must be joking'".

Angela Kidd, a primary supply teacher in Telford and Wrekin, said extra money and initiatives to improve behaviour have failed to produce results.

"There should be less tolerance of bad behaviour. Parents and pupils need to be clear about what the boundaries are and what is acceptable behaviour."

Alec Holt, a supply teacher in secondary French and German, in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, said: "Teaching has been taken out of the hands of professionals and given to small committees who don't know what goes on in the classroom."

Elizabeth Lampard teaches at Abbott's Bromley, a private C of E girls'

school in Staffordshire. She said: "God can permeate every aspect of your life but in science lessons the theory of evolution has more to recommend it than creationism."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today