BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: In Depth: Unions 2000  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Unions 2000 Wednesday, 26 April, 2000, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Cut red tape, say Tories and Lib Dems
Theresa May
Theresa May wants 'free' schools
By Alison Stenlake at the NASUWT conference in Llandudno

The burden of bureaucracy faced by teachers has been condemned by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties.

The Shadow Education Secretary, Theresa May, and the Liberal Democrat education spokesman Phil Willis addressed delegates at annual conference of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers in Llandudno.

Delegates at the conference have agreed to consider taking action - short of strikes - to cut down teachers' workloads.

Teachers are buckling under the strain and voting with their feet.

Theresa May
Mrs May accused the Labour government of failing the teaching profession by "burying teachers under mountains of red tape", prompting them to quit the profession.

'Voting with their feet'

"Too much money is still being spent on bureaucracy and red tape. Teachers are buckling under the strain and voting with their feet, leaving in droves," she said.

Repeating the Tories' familiar pledge to "make all schools free schools", she added that the government's centralisation of education was adding to teachers' bureaucratic burdens.

By giving schools more freedom to run themselves, her party would reinstate the "excitement and spontaneity" which was being driven out of teaching by bureaucracy, workload and prescription, she said.

Creative and responsive teachers are an endangered species. They cannot be bred in captivity.

Phil Willis
Mr Willis agreed that schools were "sinking in a sea of bureaucracy".

"Creative and responsive teachers are an endangered species. They cannot be bred in captivity," he said. "Butt out Blunkett, and let the teachers teach."

Abolishing local authorities

But Mr Willis attacked the Tories' "free schools" policy, saying it was a code for abolishing local education authorities, and once again allowing schools to select their students.

Mr Willis also attacked the government over the introduction of performance-related pay, which he said was a scheme dictated to teachers and heads with "Kremlin-like enthusiasm".

He said he understood the approach being taken by the NASUWT, of "constructive engagement" with the Green Paper.

But he said he rejected the premise that teachers should only get more money if they were able to prove their personal success in the classroom.

"Where is the evidence that teachers have been failing?" he asked.

See also:

06 Apr 00 | UK Education
30 Mar 00 | UK Education
22 Dec 99 | UK Education
19 Nov 99 | UK Education
25 May 99 | UK Education
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Unions 2000 stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Unions 2000 stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes