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Bid to cut red tape has made it even worse, says study.

A drive to cut bureaucracy in schools has made red tape even worse, according to the Government's own research.

One in three heads who took part in the trial of the "new relationship with schools" initiative thought it had created extra unnecessary bureaucracy. And the majority said that a new self-evaluation form was "more onerous to complete" than the previous paperwork.

Ministers launched the initiative to streamline the relationships between schools, councils, Ofsted and central Government after heads complained of excessive paperwork.

But a study of the pilot scheme has found that the majority of staff had not detected any significant reduction in bureaucracy.

The research found that 36% of heads found the new arrangements had "added unnecessary bureaucracy to the process of external accountability", while 57% said the initiative had led to "a lot more meetings and paperwork".

Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "We do have concerns. The record so far is 108 pages of self-evaluation form. What we need to get to is a far more concise document."

A DfES spokesman said more than half of those surveyed thought the system had not added to bureaucracy.

He said: "We are always looking at ways to reduce bureaucracy and cut red tape to free up heads to run their schools and free up teachers' time so that they can concentrate on teaching."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 8, 2005
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