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Wanted: leadership on class sizes

Having read recently (TES, June 16) that National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers' school representatives were being offered a massive training programme on information and expertise to engage in discussion on workload and class size with school management, and about the Association of Teachers and Lecturers' (TES, June 30) issue of a five-point checklist for members to use in negotiations on class size, I am disappointed that all the NUT is offering its school reps is advice on lobbying their MPs.

It is becoming a constant embarrassment in my discussion with teacher colleagues that the union which professes to lead the profession does not seem to have anything concrete to offer regarding immediate support for its members in relation to oversized classes, workload and the general malaise caused by diminishing conditions of service and teacher dismissals.

In the meantime, however, Doug McAvoy, NUT general secretary, is "proud of having raised the level of debate about how to achieve a high-quality education service" (TES, June 23). I think that unless Mr McAvoy comes out of his debating chamber to convince his membership that the NUT is truly leading the profession, I'm afraid he will find that it will not just be conditions of service that will be diminished.

NIGEL NICHOLAS NUT rep and president Banbury Bicester local association Drayton School Banbury, Oxon

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