Workload reforms are working

17th December 2004 at 00:00
Despite the rather negative reporting of the workload reforms, consistent progress is being made (TES, December 3). Teachers are no longer expected to do administrative tasks and can concentrate on teaching and learning. If they are not doing that they are in breach of their contract. Cover for absent staff is now limited to 38 hours per year.

In September, primary staff by contract will have to have the equivalent of half-a-day per week for marking and preparation. The Government is allocating an extra 5 per cent per primary pupil in real terms to pay for this major reform.

The TES may publish the usual negative comments from some teachers, including some heads who seem opposed to improving the conditions of service for their primary staff, but most schools are forging ahead with these negotiated and agreed changes.

This has arisen by carefully worked-out agreements involving schools minister David Miliband who has played a crucial and helpful role, the employers of teachers, all the unions except the National Union of Teachers, including the support staff unions, and Department for Education and Skills officials.

The result will be higher standards, a more skilled workforce and thousands more staff helping children to learn.

Graham Lane Vice-chair of teacher employers Newham Town Hall London E6

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