Update: 17 October 2012
Update: 9 February 2012
Future for teacher employment
Plans to support teachers to improve learning outcomes for children and young people have been announced. In response to the McCormac review of teaching employment, the Scottish Government intends to:
- create a new masters level qualification to replace the Chartered Teacher scheme
- introduce a refreshed system of professional review for teachers
- give further, careful consideration to the role of external experts in schools.
Maureen Laing, Senior Professional Officer (Scotland) with Voice: the union for education professionals said:
“It is reassuring that the Cabinet Secretary has stated that ‘Chartered Teachers and those in the process of becoming Chartered Teachers should be given credit for the work they have already undertaken’. There was a great concern that what had been achieved by Chartered Teachers would not be recognised.
“However, I am concerned that the Professional Review and Development that is to be introduced will be the responsibility of the National Partnership Group and GTCS without direct representation from the teaching unions.
“We await with interest what Education Scotland will report in relation to the current arrangements for external experts being used in schools.
“Voice hopes that the views of teachers will be an important part of this process.”
Do let us know your views…
Update: 13 September 2011
“The McCrone agreement was supposed to be ‘a teaching profession for 21st century’ not just for ten years.
“The title of the McCormac Review might be Advancing Professionalism in Teaching but, while it’s not as radical as expected, many teachers will see elements of it as a retreat back to the pre-McCrone days of the twentieth century.
“The report’s recommendations erode rather than advance the professionalism of teaching, throw up a number of inconsistencies, and potentially threaten the posts of many support staff.
“The teaching profession is being expected to take a leap in the dark with some of the proposals such as how non-contact time will be used and the practical implications for timetabling.
“As we said in our response to the Review, ‘there should be no erosion of the terms and conditions agreed under the McCrone Agreement, which set out parameters for the profession and recognised the necessity of non-contact time and collegiate time to provide a sound basis for effective learning and teaching to take place. There should be professional autonomy and McCrone has provided this to teachers’.
“I fear that, if adopted, some of the new proposals would erode both those terms and conditions and professional autonomy. Prescribing how teachers should carry out their non-contact duties certainly erodes their professional autonomy.
“We are very concerned about the wholesale removal of Annexes from the Teachers’ Agreement. The GTCS’s Standards (Annex B) have not yet been developed. I am concerned about too much power over the profession being concentrated in the hands of one body in this case, the GTCS.
“Annex E is the‘list of tasks [that] should not routinely be carried out by teachers . These tasks would generally be undertaken by support staff thereby allowing the particular skills and experience of the teacher to be deployed most effectively’. Where would its removal leave those support staff redundant? or the effective deployment of teachers’ skills and experiences? I fear the impact on support staff jobs. It seems more like a cost-saving exercise than an advancement of professionalism.
“On the positive side, we are delighted that the Report avoids some of the more extreme elements of COSLA’s controversial submission. We are therefore pleased with the recommendations that there should be no change to the length of the current contracted week of 35 hours or to the current 855 hours per year of class contact time.
“While we welcomed its introduction, the Chartered Teacher status has not lived up to expectations because of its focus on the academic, rather than the practical, classroom-based aspects of teaching. There should be other career paths for those teachers who do not want to move into senior management along the same lines as the medical profession.
“The measures for probationers are largely a firming up of what is already in place and, provided the safeguards remain in place, they should continue to prepare probationers for their future career.
“There are admirable proposals on Professional Review and Personal Development and Continuing Professional Development. We are particularly pleased with the recognition that ‘Other staff, within a school, who contribute to the education of pupils should be entitled to PRPD’. Classroom assistants the ‘valuable assets’ as they were once described deserve greater recognition.
“However, we are concerned about the availability of resources for implementing the structured programme.
“There is also a fundamental inconsistency at the heart of these particular proposals. One the one hand support staff are being offered PRPD but, on the other hand, many of their tasks may be taken away. Will they be in post to take up this professional development? Is this an attempt to look generous and supportive while saving money at the same time?”
Do let us know your views…
Update: 8 September 2011
Professor McCormac’s Review of Teacher Employment in Scotland will be published during September and Voice has been invited to give a written submission and oral evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee later this month, following the Review’s publication.
If you have any comments or feedback (before or after publication of the Review report) that would inform our evidence, please post it below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Report will be published at www.reviewofteacheremployment.org
16 February 2011:
Plans for a review of the 2001 agreement on teachers’ pay and conditions, A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century, have been announced.
The review of the 2001 agreement is to be chaired by Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Stirling University. The McCormac Review will examine a range of issues related to teacher employment. The Review will report with recommendations by summer 2011 with a view to the agreed recommendations being implemented from August 2012.
The Review’s Call for Evidence will aim to gather views on key aspects of the current arrangements established by A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century, and will ask specific questions relating to the effect of the Agreement.
Further details are on the Voice Website.
The Review will report with recommendations by summer 2011 with a view to the agreed recommendations being implemented from August 2012.
Voice notes with interest the reasons given by Education Secretary Mike Russell for establishing the review. The focus is very much on the cost and size of the teacher workforce in the current financial climate rather than concentrating on delivering the best educational outcomes for children and young people.
Voice would be very concerned if this review resulted in unacceptable changes to teachers’ terms and conditions, given that the commitment to implement Curriculum for Excellence has been assured by the Scottish Government.
If there is a reduction in non-class contact time, then it will be very difficult to maintain the same level of preparation, which will put additional pressure on staff.
The future of education is everyone’s future so it is important that everything possible is done to ensure that the valuable services provided by all those involved in education are not irreparably damaged for generations to come.
Do let us have views, which will inform Voice’s response to the review, either by adding your comments below or by emailing email@example.com