We want clarity, not isolation

8th April 2005 at 01:00
It is not unknown for union leaders to do a bit of "opposition bashing" before their annual conference. But the comments of Association of Teachers and Lecturers general secretary Mary Bousted (TES, March 25) on the National Association of Headteachers' workload dilemma is far off the mark.

As a delegate who participated in the recent NAHT special meeting in London we do not "wish to be left to go our own way". We are in total agreement with the principles of the workload agreement, and especially with the provision of 10 per cent planning, preparation and assessment time for teachers.

It is obvious from the responses received from school level that we cannot provide the PPA time on the current funding given by the Government, and all the admonitions from Stephen Twigg et al will not change that.

Many heads are making teaching and support staff redundant in order to find the money to employ teaching and support staff (sometimes the same people) to fulfil the agreement. They are looking "creatively" for ways to cover classes to provide the time for staff. The deal is also designed to provide designated leadership for senior staff, but fat chance of that at the moment.

Ms Bousted ought to realise that it may well be her members who will be made redundant. The workload agreement is seen by the Department for Education and Skills as a "flagship initiative", but if matters are not resolved it will more likely resemble a dredger.

Tony Roberts Secretary, Lancashire NAHT 144 Cop Lane Penwortham, Preston

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