View from the school gate: What parents think

3rd June 2005 at 01:00
Abdul-Hayee Murshad, head of Hermitage primary, east London, will give teachers 15 per cent PPA time from September. Two members of the senior leadership team will take lessons. Assistants are not being used for cover.

Jacky Green mother of Tiffany, 10, and Melanie, seven, both at the Hermitage school: "Teachers have a short working day compared to others.

Let them stay until 5pm and they can do preparation then."

Rosemary Dastgir mother of Yasmin, seven, and Rachel, four, who attend the Hermitage primary: "PPA time is probably a good idea. The teachers here are doing a lot of after-school planning. They are never out of here before 5.30pm from what I have seen."

Carole Spruce, head of Humberston Cloverfields primary, near Grimsby, will cover PPA time with a football coach who is not a qualified teacher and a music specialist who is. The deputy special needs co-ordinator will also take a 30-minute spelling session. Mrs Spruce and another teacher will take a whole-school music assembly.

Kelly Whetton, whose five-year-old, Luke, is at Cloverfields: "I have done half a teacher training course and just accepted I had to plan for the next day. Taking work home is part of being a teacher. My boy is getting muddled up with all the different teachers he has. This will not help."

Christine Mason, who has two daughters, Gracie, 10, and Harriet, five, at Cloverfields: "The work teachers put in is incredible. I have planning time where I work so why shouldn't they?"

John McNally, head of St Bernadette's Catholic primary, Yardley, Birmingham, will employ two or three staff to cover PPA time. He said: "We have not consulted with parents - it should be a matter for the head to decide, rather than the school-gate mafia."

Carl Jarvis, whose son Mikey, nine, and daughter Leah, seven, are at St Bernadette's: "Anything that affects children's learning should be cleared with parents. I can see problems with teaching assistants, if pupils have questions about the curriculum how are they going to answer them?"

Leona Bramble, who has a son Ryan, 10, at St Bernadette's: "Teaching assistants are fine too. It might give more people an opportunity to break into teaching. If they weren't trustworthy people to hire then schools wouldn't go anywhere near them."

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