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Thursday, 14 September, 2000, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Heads join red tape boycott
David Hart
David Hart wants to reduce "excessive workload"
Head teachers are being urged to join a boycott of red tape in schools.

The National Association of Head Teachers is calling on its members to refuse to carry out any non-essential paperwork.

"If this means that heads come into conflict with government, its agencies and local education authorities then so be it," said the union's general secretary, David Hart.


School leaders are fed up with the bureaucracy, red-tape and excessive demands from government

David Hart, general secretary NAHT

The head teachers' union is joining a campaign launched earlier this year by two other teachers' unions to tackle what they claim as an unacceptable burden of bureaucracy.

"School leaders are fed up with the bureaucracy, red tape and excessive demands from government, its agencies and local education authorities that interfere with the effective running of schools and are of little value to the education of pupils," said Mr Hart.

Bureaucracy

"NAHT members have been advised that any failure to reduce bureaucracy should lead to school leaders refusing to take any action which creates excessive workload."

The campaign against red tape has highlighted the amount of paperwork generated by government initiatives and the bureaucracy created by the bidding system for extra grants.

The Department for Education says that efforts have already been made to reduce the administrative workload in schools.

"We have already pledged to cut dramatically the amount of paperwork in schools by streamlining the Standards Fund and cutting by a third the number of documents and by half the number of papers and paperwork sent automatically to schools in the next year," said a spokesperson.

The Shadow Education Secretary, Theresa May, said: "When is Labour going to start listening to heads who are telling them they cannot go on loading more and more bureaucracy on teachers?

"Under the Conservatives' "free schools" policy, heads and teachers would be freed from the burden of bureaucracy.

"Heads would be able to run and manage schools free from central interference and the constant pressure to meet government targets."

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See also:

28 Jul 00 | Education
Schools sink in sea of paper
22 Jun 00 | Education
Teachers to take action on workload
19 Nov 99 | Education
Red tape toolkit 'not enough'
06 Apr 00 | Education
Internet to cut school red tape
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