EIS Response to Scottish Government Education Governance Review

Created on: 16 Jun 2017 | Last modified: 21 Apr 2023

Commenting on Deputy First Minister John Swinney's Parliamentary Statement on the Review of Education Governance, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said:

"Today's statement by the Deputy First Minister, and associated publications, has laid out a wide-ranging set of proposals which the EIS will wish to consider in depth through our democratic processes."

"This report is a major piece of work with significant implications for the future shape of our education system. We welcome the fact that many of the proposals are subject to further consultation and the EIS will play a full and active part during that process."

Mr Flanagan continued, "There is a strong theme in the proposals of providing pedagogical leadership and improving support for schools and teachers to enhance education provision for pupils across Scotland."

"This is to be welcomed but the challenge will be to ensure that the ambition is actually delivered in practice. There is, also, a very welcome emphasis on enhancing professional learning options and facilitating career progression for teachers."

"With nearly 60% of teachers remaining at the top of the pay-scale for the bulk of their working lives, new career pathways beyond that point, with appropriate remuneration, are crucial."

"Whilst the precise composition of collaborative regional structures requires further clarification, we welcome the Deputy First Minister's emphasis that these are intended to form a support structure to allow for the sharing of skills and knowledge rather than an additional bureaucratic layer in between local authorities and the Scottish Government."

"The EIS also very much welcomes the confirmation that local authorities, not individual schools, will remain the employers of teachers and, also, the confirmation that current national bargaining structures will continue through the tripartite Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) and associated Local Negotiating Committees for Teachers (LNCTs)."

"On the broad thrust of Headteachers having more decision making power, we would say firstly that there needs to an important focus on ensuring we have democratic and accountable schools where all teachers' voices are heard and, secondly, that schools and Headteachers need to be adequately supported by Local Authority structures."

"We remain to be convinced about the need for potential changes to the General Teaching Council, a world renowned teacher-led body which ensures the highest professional standards are maintained."

Mr Flanagan added, "While it is early in the process, this Review provides an opportunity for a more constructive and consensual approach to education to be re-established which would be a positive step for schools, teachers and pupils."

"It is by schools, local authorities and politicians of all parties, at local and national level, working constructively together, that we can deliver enhancements to our comprehensive education system to ensure it continues to meet the needs of Scotland’s young people long into the future."