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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 5 September, 2001, 14:11 GMT 15:11 UK
Sharing teachers across schools
Class scene
Pupils could soon be taught by teachers from other schools
Teachers from successful schools will be able to work in neighbouring schools which are struggling to raise standards, the government announced.

Head teachers too could be allowed to run more than one school.

Introducing the government's White Paper on education, the Education Secretary, Estelle Morris, said successful schools had a responsibility to the whole of the school service.

Estelle Morris
Estelle Morris says the law will be changed so teachers can teach in other schools
There was a new culture among schools today, Ms Morris said, and they were more willing to work together.

There was huge incentive for successful schools to get involved with failing schools, such as an exchange of new ideas and professional development for staff.

"At the moment the law is very tightly drawn on whether teachers can work across schools - it can't happen," said Ms Morris.

"We will free the law up so that teachers can work across schools and can work in more than one school.

"If they choose, heads can lead more than one school," she said.

'No pressure'

But there would be no pressure from the Department for Education for heads and teachers to do so, she stressed.

The suggestion was welcomed by the National Union of Teachers as an opportunity to spread good practice.


It sounds like one of these great ideas in principle that, in my view, won't work in practice

David Hart, NAHT
"It would allow teachers to pick up different approaches from other schools, because all schools have their own way of working," said the NUT general secretary, Doug McAvoy.

"It would also enable teachers to widen their experience of schools serving different types of community," he said.

"Provided it was in the control of the teacher and not a dictate from the head then it could be very beneficial."

The move could see minority subjects, such as Russian or classics, being offered to a wider range of pupils.

The only drawback was the current shortage of teachers.

"Schools are going to be reluctant to allow shortage staff to go away," Mr McAvoy said.

Full-time job

The National Association of Head Teachers was more cautious over suggestions that heads could run more than one school.

General secretary David Hart said being a head was a "full-time and a half" job.

"It sounds like one of these great ideas in principle that, in my view, won't work in practice," said Mr Hart.

"I can't see governing bodies wanting to employ a head with a part-time responsibility for one school and a part-time responsibility for another."

Mr Hart said the only way in which the idea could work would be if the head of a successful school was brought in on a short-term basis to turn around a failing school.

Click for more on the education proposals

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See also:

01 Mar 01 | UK Education
05 Oct 00 | UK Education
18 Apr 00 | Unions 2000
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