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December 2009

12 Primary perspectives
It was dismissed by ministers on publication, but Warwick Mansell takes a more balanced look at the Cambridge Primary Review.

14 What’s happened to your workload?
The government’s latest survey of teachers’ working hours shows no let-up in workload. Sarah Lyons reports.

21 Being assertive
Elizabeth Floyer proposes assertive discipline® in the classroom to create a secure learning environment.

25 Music for Youth
As the music charity celebrates its 40th birthday, Lincoln Abbotts looks at its achievements and ambitions.

26 Working for a fairer future
The NUT strives to promote fair treatment for all teachers. Rosamund McNeil explains how and why.

30 Assessing Pupils’ Progress – support or imposition?
Teachers need control over the new assessment system, argues John Bangs.

36 A fresh start
Elyssa Campbell-Barr speaks to four NUT members who have switched to teaching from other professions.

43 A creative curriculum
Ty Golding explains how freedom from SATs has allowed creativity to flower in his school in Wales.

50 Backbeat: Don’t write dyslexics off!
Award-winning NUT member Edward Vickerman says his dyslexia is a gift, not a barrier.

4 Upfront
11 International
16 Your union
22 Ask the union
28 Teachnology
33 Learning with the NUT
38 Reviews
41 Noticeboard
44 Staffroom confidential
46 Letters

Cover image: Stefano Cagnogni/


As Christmas approaches, the NUT has a wish list – not for Santa but for the government. At the top is an end to Key Stage 2 SATs.

A few weeks ago the most comprehensive study of primary education in 40 years further validated our campaign to have the tests abolished by delivering a damning verdict on SATs and league tables. Read all about the review and its many recommendations for the future of primary education on page 12. And keep an eye on the NUT website – – this month for news of the outcome of our ballot for a boycott of the 2010 tests and next steps in the campaign.

Also on our wish list is for the government to drop its plans to require teachers to have a licence to practise, renewable every five years, from next September. We know our members want the same, as many thousands of you have taken the time and trouble to return the ‘No licence to teach’ postcards included in the last edition of The Teacher.

What teachers want isn’t yet more accountability measures against which to be judged. It isn’t yet more stress and an even greater workload for school leaders. It’s the freedom to teach a broad and balanced curriculum and decide how best to meet the needs of their pupils. Now, wouldn’t that be a great Christmas present from the government to the teaching profession and the nation’s children?

Elyssa Campbell-Barr

The Teacher is the magazine of the National Union of Teachers, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD
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Martin Reed
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