Magazine article Public Finance

Workload Deal Flawed, Says Collins

Magazine article Public Finance

Workload Deal Flawed, Says Collins

Article excerpt

Unpublished research by the Conservative party has found that rural and smaller primary schools are resorting to 'drastic measures' to meet the national workload agreement, Tim Collins has told Public Finance.

The shadow education secretary, speaking at the Conservative Spring Forum in Brighton on March 12, revealed that the party's research unit had polled several hundred schools on their experiences of implementing the agreement and the responses had identified 'real problems'.

The agreement, which has been implemented in three phases, passes administrative tasks such as photocopying to support staff and, from September, will guarantee all teachers 10% non-contact time during the working week.

'This isn't a huge issue for larger schools with older pupils, but it is for small schools and rural schools with younger pupils, which don't have the necessary resources,' Collins said.

'Many young children will be left in the sole care of non-teachers for large chunks of the day. Head teachers are already having to take on many more tasks. They can only accommodate this agreement by taking fairly drastic measures.'

According to Collins, the research, which is due to be published in the next fortnight, has shown that some primary schools will have to leave children under the supervision of unqualified teaching assistants for up to two hours a day. …

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