I trained up originally as a primary school teacher in the 1990s, and was very good at my job. I left because of the sheer volume of paperwork required to manage the National Curriculum.

Most of my time was devoted to "benchmarking" and assessing my pupils against various level descriptors. Not only this, but the Literacy and Numeracy hours (the principles of which which I agree with) were intensely prescriptive: we were told how to structure classes, for example, which involved me having to allocate different *topics* (not just differentiated tasks) to different groups of children in their Numeracy lesson, when commnon sense told me they should at least have the same focus, albeit at different levels.

I have since moved on to sixth form teaching, via FE and a stint doing VSO, but I still hear various horror stories about primary teachers having to submit detailed lesson plans and evaluations (including portfolios of photographs) for *every lesson* they teach! I notice that the teachers in the school oppposite where I live,one with a very good reputation, are often at work before 7a.m.

Why is this idea important?

At the basis of my idea is this simple proposal: you can trust the professionals. In most cases, you really can. Teachers need time to plan lessons properly, and time to recuperate and rediscover inspiration, try out new ideas, etc. They'll work best – more, and more efficiently – when allowed room to make decisions according to their professional judgement. I think, particularly in the case of primary teachers, the overwhelming weight of national curriculum paperwork and other bureaucracy, is decreasing the quality of their work. In many cases, it can drive good, committed people such as myself into other sectors – which is a great shame.

I hope you have time to consider my idea. Many thanks.

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