Teachers agree ban on menial chores

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A second teaching union yesterday voted for industrial action, backing calls for teachers to take part in "pupil-friendly direct action".

Members of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers overwhelmingly backed calls for a ballot on a boycott of unskilled tasks such as photocopying, inputting data and chasing the parents of absent pupils.

Delegates warned the Government's new performance management scheme for teachers had "the potential to seriously escalate the continuing problem of excessive workload and bureaucracy".

They also called for a cap on the length of teachers' working week.

Nigel de Gruchy, the union's general secretary, promised "pupil-friendly direct action" that he pledged would not affect work in the classroom.

The Department for Education and Employment condemned the decision, which came the day after the National Union of Teachers voted to ballot for a one-day stoppage over performance pay. But the NASUWT welcomed the proposals for performance pay.