Created on: 25 Jan 2018 | Last modified: 24 Aug 2018
The Governance Review is a very open consultation. Whilst this is welcome in the sense that it suggests nothing is predetermined and allows for some scope in terms of response, it also creates a degree of challenge in that there are no specific proposals to which a response can be directed.
For this reason, the EIS is strongly of the view that this should be stage one in an iterative process which allows for much more detailed dialogue and discussion on future specific proposals which emerge from this initial consultation.
This will be of importance in ensuring that there is sufficient "buy-in" to any proposed changes from the teaching profession and other key players and partners in Scottish Education – an essential prerequisite to the success of any changes to be enacted.
The Review is also all encompassing in its scope, covering as it does every aspect of the current delivery and governance arrangements. The comprehensive nature of the review is sensible as the key elements and organisations within Scottish Education interact with each other to create the totality of our service but again the very scale of the consultation presents some challenges.
The EIS would express caution about the capacity of schools, and the system generally, to cope with a possible pace and reach of change which might induce an unwelcome element of instability to service delivery.
It is essential that sufficient time is taken to make the correct decisions and to prepare for changes, rather than rushing to judgment and implementation simply to meet political rather than educational imperatives.
Having stated these caveats, however, the EIS is responding as a constructive partner in Scottish Education. As Scotland’s largest Education union, representing over 55,00 members across all sectors and posts, we welcome the opportunity to set out below our initial response to the consultation questions with a view to contributing to the debate about where change might advance and support effective teaching and learning and the well-being of students and staff, and where stability might achieve the same objective.