15 June, 2017 - 16:03

The Education Secretary said he knew head teachers don’t want to become chief administrators before announcing a raft of new administrative responsibilities and his power grab from local government only damages democratic accountability over education. Ross Greer MSP

Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (15 June) questioned plans by the Education Secretary to change educational structures, including by giving headteachers greater administrative responsibilities.

The Education Secretary's proposals follow a governance review, criticised by teacher and parent representative bodies and which Mr Greer has described as a distraction from the real issue in schools: cuts to staffing.

Over the past year, Mr Greer has highlighted cuts including those to school librarians and Additional Support Needs staff, which disproportionately affect young people from poorer backgrounds, and has consistently called for Additional Support for Learning to become a ‘promoted post’.

Today's proposals from the Education Secretary include the creation of new regional bodies, the loss of local democratic accountability and considerable additional workload for head teachers through greater responsibility over finances, staff recruitment and management.

Ross Greer MSP said:

“These huge changes simply aren’t what teachers, pupils and parents have been asking for. The government’s own analysis of the consultation even says there was a ‘lack of appetite’ for these unaccountable regional bodies. The Education Secretary said he knew head teachers don’t want to become chief administrators before announcing a raft of new administrative responsibilities and his power grab from local government only damages democratic accountability over education.

“The reality is that this exercise fails to address the real problem in Scottish education, the loss of over four thousand teachers, a third of school librarians, over five hundred Additional Support Needs teachers and hundreds of support staff. Teachers are massively overworked due to the lack of colleagues and the government continues to do everything it can to avoid the reality of its decade in control of the purse strings.

“Considerable additional funding to local government to reverse these cuts, greater training to support the one in four pupils with additional support needs and the scrapping of standardised testing are just some of the solutions the SNP could have chosen. Instead they are playing with structures those in education didn’t ask them to.”

 

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