Red-tape protest moves closer

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The Independent Online
THE biggest teaching union will decide this week whether to ballot on a campaign to boycott classroom bureaucracy, writes Judith Judd.

A survey by the National Union of Teachers found that teachers complained about bulk photocopying to remedy book shortages, copying out lists, chasing up absent or late children and time-wasting preparation for inspections.

Anger among teachers about paperwork and red tape is growing.

Leaders of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers have already decided to ballot members over red tape as part of their campaign to let teachers teach.

Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers will vote at their Easter conference on a motion calling for strike action, if necessary, to reduce the stress on primary teachers.

Recommendations from a government working party on red tape have failed to end the profession's frustration over the bureaucratic burden on schools.

The NUT is expected to decide this week on a ballot which could lead to a boycott of some paperwork.

Doug McAvoy, its general secretary, said: "The profession has always been clear in its attitude to non-teaching duties. If they support teaching and learning, the hours spent are worthwhile - but must be within acceptable limits.

"What teachers detest most is the ever-growing list of tasks and the hours they consume which contribute nothing to their pupils' development and the quality o their teaching."