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Dedication 'put at risk'

MINISTERS are in danger of 'obliterating for ever' the 'altruistic dedication' of teachers, the leader of a teacher union warned yesterday, writes Colin Hughes.

John Rowland, president of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, opened his union's annual conference in Bournemouth by forecasting deep and lasting damage if the Government persists in its policies.

He said that the national curriculum tests that the Government still wants to carry out this summer could not be supported by teachers. They had been forced on them without consultation and were basically flawed. 'How could teachers commit themselves to a system which largely ignored their own judgement of pupils' abilities?' Mr Rowland asked. The NASUWT is the first union to begin boycotting this year's tests.

Mr Rowland added that the most pressing need for Britain's education system was 'to restore teachers' morale and their joy in their work'.