Why is the job not as simple as ABC?

7th January 2005 at 00:00
A is for assembly, B is for benchmarking, C is for complaints. This is the teacher's A to Z.

Despite efforts to cut teacher workload through the national agreement, many teachers feel their responsibilities are still multiplying thanks to ceaseless Government initiatives and the pressure to get results.

In a spirit of (admittedly unscientific) inquiry, The TES combed statutes, Department for Education and Skills' guidance and public pronouncements by ministers to find 159 responsibilities for teachers which we have compiled in alphabetical order.

Teaching itself was excluded from the list, which is not exhaustive but includes voluntary as well as statutory duties.

Steve Sinnott, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said he was sure more could be added, and would like to see "government initiatives" on the list.

"If we could put a stop to them, much of the teachers' workload problem would be ended at a stroke," he said.

But the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers blamed some schools' failure to properly implement the workload agreement for teachers' feelings of exhaustion.

Chris Keates, general secretary, said: "My ambition for 2005 is to make sure every single one of our members is actually feeling the benefits of the enormous changes we have negotiated with the Government."

The tricky letter Z is for Zoonones: diseases which pass from animals to humans, which teachers must guard against on trips to farms or with school pets.

As the Health and Safety Executive's Agriculture Information Sheet 23 (teacher's supplement) puts it: "During and after the visit, make sure that children do not kiss the animals."

Assessment, assembly, after-school clubs, attendance, abuse, assertiveness techniques, attainment, action plans, annual school census, asbestos Bullying, breaktime, behaviour, breakfast clubs, baseline assessment, benchmarking, budgets, bidding for funds, bureaucracy Creativity, citizenship, child protection, criminal record checks, circle time, continuing professional development, careers advice, collective worship, class sizes, community involvement, copyright, creativity, consultation, complaints Discipline, domestic violence, drugs, duty of care, disability, detention, data collection, data protection Exams, exclusions, ethnic minority achievement, extended projects, employability Fetes, faith, financial literacy, fire duties, form groups, forced marriages, first aid, female genital mutilation, fundraising, freedom of information, foundation stage profile, fruit Gateways to learning, gifted and talented, gap years, governing, grants, gypsy and traveller children Homework, hospital education, healthy lifestyle, homophobia, home-school agreements Inclusion, information sharing, Inset, international links, in loco parentis, induction, inspection, insurance, internet safety Jabs, juvenile delinquency Knives Literacy, lesson planning, listening, looked-after children, lifelong learning, letters home Mentoring, marking, meetings, morals, milk, mental health, mobile phones, multi-culturalism Numeracy, neglect, NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), national curriculum, nutrition, nits Obesity, occupational health Personalised learning, PE, partnership working, participation, parents'

evenings, political literacy, publicity, progress files, performance tables, prospectus, political balance Qualifications, quality assurance RE, racism, restraining pupils, reports, registration, risk assessments, relationship education Safety, safeguarding children, security, special educational needs, spiritual development, sport, self-evaluation, specialist status, study support, sustainable development Transport, trips, thinking skills, teenage pregnancy, transcripts, targets, timetables, threshold assessment, trespassers Uniforms, underage sex Vaccinations, visits, vocational pathways, value added scores, value for money Whiteboards, wellbeing, work experience, workforce remodelling, wider activities X-rated emails, x-ray machines Youth justice, young carers Zoonones (diseases transmitted from animals to humans)

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