On the subject of Teach First being introduced in Scotland, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: 

"The EIS does not believe that handing greater responsibility for learning and teaching to unqualified graduates in schools will lead to better outcomes for Scotland’s children.

"The Teach First proposal for Scotland would give such trainees 5 weeks training before putting them into the classroom at the start of the academic year to teach pupils, presumably together with a qualified teacher, and then the trainees would rise to act as the lead class teacher before the end of the first year.

"The EIS believes the teaching responsibilities placed on these trainees would be premature and excessive, and would be to the detriment of the pupils.

"The proposal also suggests that the trainees would be employed by schools; a school therefore could have two groups of trainee teachers on PGDE programmes working with pupils – one group being paid whilst the other is not.

"This does not seem like an equitable system and it may deter graduates from entering the current well-regarded route into teaching.

"The notion of differentiated pay scales is also unlikely to find favour within the SNCT as it would undermine current negotiated pay scales.

"The Teach First proposal also leans heavily on trainees being mentored by existing teachers - exacerbating workload pressures and again relying on the goodwill of teachers in an unacceptable manner.

"When Scotland is currently facing the significant challenge of raising achievement and attainment for all and closing the poverty-related attainment gap, dilution of standards within the teaching profession is not the answer.

"Rather it is essential that we improve the terms and conditions of our teachers by reducing workload and offering fair pay, to make teaching an even more attractive career choice for highly qualified graduates.”