Workload deal is lost without funds

3rd October 2003 at 01:00
I wonder if Bill Bradbury has seriously considered why schools cannot afford to recruit more teachers (TES, September 19) and why the workload agreement is doomed to failure?

We know that the Government intends to finance the new deal from existing funds by effectively imposing a three-year, inflation-linked pay award and by placing an artificial quota on performance management progression.

Is it surprising that headteachers are looking to reduce costs when they are faced with the possibility of financial meltdown as a result of swingeing cuts in their budgets?

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, is right to threaten the Government if it fails to deliver on its promises.

How can his members finance the workload agreement and continue to pay salary increments without the necessary funding?

In the real world of teaching no one expects to see a reduction of workload. And only Mr Bradbury apparently believes that the problems will be resolved by employing more classroom assistants.

He should direct his anger towards politicians rather than his colleagues in other trade unions, and campaign for an increase in the number of qualified teachers.

Only when class sizes are reduced significantly will we experience any real benefits - unless, of course, as the National Union of Teachers maintains, his union is prepared to allow assistants to become teachers in their own right.

Ian Ashmore 556 Chorley Road Westhoughton Bolton

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