‘Jam tomorrow’ is unacceptable

19th February 2016 at 00:00

We are still a long way off achieving the aspirations of the national Working Group on Tackling Bureaucracy (“Red-tape crackdown hasn’t cut workload, say teachers”, Insight, 12 February). Its first report was published in November 2013. In October 2015, Dr Alasdair Allan, learning minister and chair of the working group, admitted that progress had been patchy. The constant promise of “jam tomorrow” is unacceptable to overworked teachers.

Some primary schools have made good efforts to reduce bureaucracy and, in my own local authority, for example, have managed to streamline forward-planning and reporting processes quite successfully. Big challenges remain, though, especially in secondary schools, where so much unnecessary bureaucracy has been driven by the new National qualifications.

I am hopeful that the new Working Group on Assessment and National Qualifications, which has begun meetings to consider changes for the 2016-17 session, will herald some tangible progress. But we cannot have yet another instance of warm words and limited action. An immediate and significant reduction in unnecessary bureaucracy and teacher workload is essential.

Mike Corbett

English teacher and national executive member, NASUWT Scotland teaching union

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