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EDITIONS
 Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 18:39 GMT
Teachers reject workload deal
Doug McAvoy
Doug McAvoy wants a limit on use of assistants
The biggest classroom union has decided not to sign the government's proposed deal on reducing teachers' workload.

The executive of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has agreed unanimously not to sign the proposed agreement as it stands - allowing classroom assistants to take whole classes in schools across England and Wales.

The union said it believed this would undermine children's education and put in jeopardy the quality of education in schools.

The government says the draft agreement is "a good deal".

Absence of targets

But the NUT's general secretary, Doug McAvoy, said: "This is not a way of improving standards in our schools or of providing high quality education for all the nation's children.

"The government has refused to include targets for the progressive reduction in teachers' workload, a proposal recommended to it by the School Teachers' Review Body.

"It has targets for everything except removing teachers' excessive workload.

"The proposals show the government's lack of confidence in its ability to recruit and retain sufficient teachers to meet the needs of our schools beyond the 10,000 it is already committed to in its manifesto.

"This is short sighted. If the issue of workload is addressed that would bring its own benefits for recruitment and retention.

"We will continue to press these issues with government. An arbitrary guillotine on the NUT's involvement is unnecessary."

'Wide support'

The government has said it wants to sign the agreement by 15 January.

The School Standards Minister, David Miliband, said: "The draft agreement is a good deal for teachers and pupils.

"It is supported by representatives of teachers, heads, support staff and employers - as well as government.

"It will deliver major benefits to our education system and we will work with all willing partners to make the most of these benefits for children and teachers alike."

See also:

03 Jan 03 | Education
17 Dec 02 | Education
22 Oct 02 | Education
18 Oct 02 | Education
16 Apr 02 | Education
01 Apr 02 | Education
17 Nov 01 | Mike Baker
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