Teachers' paperwork warning

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The Independent Online
Teachers warned yesterday that they may take industrial action if the Government and head teachers refuse to cut school bureaucracy.

The National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers began a campaign to rescue teachers from mountains of paperwork and let them teach. Heads, say the union, must stop making work for teachers by over- reacting to government initiatives.

Some schools are testing five-year-olds twice, once using their own test and again using one approved by the Government. Some are reviewing targets every fortnight instead of once or twice a year. One primary teacher wrote 15,000 words by hand in a monthly report for pupils. Lesson plans and school development plans are often far too elaborate because that is what teachers think inspectors want, Nigel de Gruchy, the union's general secretary said.

Any action, he insisted, would be "teacher liberating, pupil friendly and standards enhancing".