Workload deal can really work

19th September 2003 at 01:00
Your leader "What price time-out promise?" (TES, September 5) and the letter from David Hart of the National Association of Head Teachers ("Unions need a reality check") illustrate that delivery of the workload deal will be difficult for financial reasons.

Mr Hart warns the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers against "ramming through an agreement" (even though he is a co-signatory to it). But the new contract incorporating the deal is binding. Perhaps Mr Hart can tell me what other parts of my new contract I can ignore? Perhaps it is writing reports, or marking work?

Apart from the National Union of Teachers sniping from the touchline in local meetings, all co-signatories do work together to resolve problems with the deal.

Even if some teachers continue to breach their new contract by collecting the odd penny or bulk photocopying, the difference is that it is their choice and these cannot be now forced upon them.

If teachers want free time then this can only be delivered by well-trained assistants. In the real world there is as much chance of schools employing extra trained teachers, as the NUT wants, as of Mr Hart becoming NUT leader. Schools cannot afford to pay for more teachers.

Bill Bradbury 2 Clifton Road Billinge Nr Wigan Lancashire

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