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We count them out, and we count them back

The tabs are being kept on teachers in North Ayrshire. All staff must sign a register when they leave school and sign back in on return. One exasperated head kicks off the staff bulletin: "What follows is not a school decision - it is a 'requirement' by the authority."

The bulletin adds: "We will also have to give a reason for being out. This includes being out on school business." At the end of each month the secretary has to sort the reasons into categories, total them and complete a statistical return for the office in Irvine. As the head says: "It's nice to be trusted. "

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