Zone teachers feel excluded

29th January 1999 at 00:00
EDUCATION action zones have failed to win over the most important people in the enterprise - namely, the teachers expected to deliver higher standards.

A survey of staff in the 12 zones launched last September, found more than 70 per cent felt excluded from key decisions and uninformed of important changes.

Many were sceptical of seeing any improvement in standards - or their jobs - and complained of extra paperwork, time-wasting meetings and money spent on bureaucracy.

The National Union of Teachers, which carried out the survey of its members, warned that the flagship Government initiative risked failure unless more effort was made to engage teachers.

Union general secretary Doug McAvoy said: "Too many teachers feel excluded from the development of the zones. The Government must listen to teachers before deciding future developments."

The findings were revealed at an NUT seminar yesterday - where schools minister Charles Clarke agreed that teacher commitment was vital to success and urged them to embrace innovation.

The innovations called for by the 212 teachers responding to the survey were, unsurprisingly, smaller classes; more classroom assistants; and more support for children with special needs.

Yet one Herefordshire teacher realised there were unexpected bonuses:

"Retaining the threat of withdrawal from the EAZ is giving our school greater influence."

* The Education Partnership has dropped out of the race to be the first private company running a state school. The company has withdrawn its bid to run the school on the site of the failing Kings' Manor comprehensive in Guildford, Surrey. This follows a split between the Education Partnership and one of its backers, the high-profile American Edison Project.

Three companies are now competing for the contract. The Centre for British Teachers, a not-for-profit company; the City Technology College Kingshurst; and Nord Anglia. All have submitted bids to the Conservative-controlled county council and will make presentations to parents, teachers and the community today.

Zones in action, 15

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now