The EIS has today (Tuesday), welcomed the launch of a consultation on the Education (Scotland) Bill.

The EIS is committed to constructive dialogue on how best to enhance Scottish education and improve support for schools, pupils and teachers across the country.

Commenting on the launch of the consultation by Deputy First Minister John Swinney, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The EIS will play an active part in this consultation process, and is keen to share the views of teachers on how best to support Scottish education.

"We are clear that improving support for schools – through increased funding, enhanced staff recruitment and retention, and additional classroom resources – is key to delivering government policies which aim to tackle the impact of poverty and raise attainment.”

Mr Flanagan continued, "This consultation is entitled ‘Empowering Schools’, which is an aspiration that the EIS strongly supports. However, it is essential that this empowerment is based on a democratic model which enables all teachers to contribute to the leadership of learning within their schools.

"Devolving more autonomy to schools can only be successful if it is done within a collegiate structure, supporting all staff in making educational decisions in the best interests of pupils.”

Mr Flanagan added, "In terms of the Headteachers’ Charter, the EIS is very aware of the workload pressures facing school leaders at present and will oppose any additional bureaucratic or administrative burdens being added to the post of Headteacher.” 

"While the EIS is open to dialogue on the future shape of education in Scotland, there are some elements in the proposals which do give cause for concern, notably the proposal to merge the fully autonomous General Teaching Council for Scotland into a broader body.

"This is a serious point of contention for the EIS. Scotland holds its teachers to a particularly high set of professional standards, and the GTCS is essential in upholding these exacting standards. Frankly, the case for change has not been made. The EIS will seek to defend the independent role of the GTCS.”