Friday 01 September 2017

Commenting on the Scottish Parliament's Education Committee Report on Teacher Workforce Planning, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said,

"This is a very wide-ranging report that touches on a diverse range of issues, but which does highlight the need for improvements in the teacher workforce planning process."

"Matching the number of people entering teacher training with the number of likely vacancies in the years ahead will never be an absolutely exact science, and it does require very close co-operation - particularly between local authorities, the Scottish Government and Teacher Training Institutions."

"On the specifics of the report, the EIS would argue, quite strongly, that what is required by those not involved directly in the classroom, and that includes Education Scotland, the SQA, civil servants and indeed politicians, is that they listen to teachers and their representatives."

"We are disappointed to note, for example, that the Education Committee did not invite the EIS to speak to it on these matters, despite the fact that we represent 80% of Scotland’s teachers."

"In places the report echoes current demands from the teacher unions - the need for better salaries and for enhanced careers pathways – but in other areas it seems disconnected from what is actually happening on schools."

"For example, the notion of practical placements in schools for SQA and Education Scotland staff may appear to have a superficial attraction but it is a shallow, and somewhat trivial, response to concerns about teacher workload and certainly no substitute for ensuring that teachers are able to exercise professional control over their working environment."

"There are worrying recommendations about lowering 'overly restrictive' entry standards and about 'flexibility' in terms of recruiting teachers from out-with Scotland, which do not sit well with the need to maintain high professional standards and to make teaching a well-rewarded profession.

"It is ironic that the report advocates the introduction of 'something akin to the Chartered Teacher scheme', when it was Scottish Government which unilaterally closed that highly-regarded and world-leading scheme."