We do not need more time, just less paperwork

Tes Editorial

AS a primary school teacher with 30 years' experience, I feel I must reply to Ben Harding's letter "We all need the time not to teach" (TES, December 21).

I am becoming increasingly disturbed by a recent desire, led by Education Secretary Estelle Morris, for teachers to scurry away from the classroom as often as possible and hide away in the staffroom or somewhere planning lessons for someone else to teach.

Where's the vocation in that? What sort of a deal is that for the children? Primary schoolchildren need to see their teacher as often as possible - not endless supplies or assistants.

Mr Harding asks us to imagine a timetable for a teacher who spends 50 per cent of his time planning and assessing. I imagine some very short-changed children! They'd never see him!

Furthermore, the best way to assess young children is to know them inside out. This involves working with the children as much as we possibly can.

Estelle Morris was wrong. Teachers need less paperwork. Not more time off teaching to do it.

Tim Mann

Bosmere junior school

South Street Havant, Hampshire

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Tes Editorial

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