Teaching union votes for ‘moratorium on education changes’

Teachers say there are too many policy changes in education.''PICTURE: DAVID DAVIES
Teachers say there are too many policy changes in education.''PICTURE: DAVID DAVIES
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Secondary school teachers have voted overwhelmingly for a moratorium on change in education policies for a minimum of three years in Scotland to counter the “almost continuous change” of the last ten years.

The vote at the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association’s (SSTA) 73rd annual congress today in Crieff, in Perthshire, follows a speech by the association’s general secretary Seamus Searson in which he said “the way teachers are treated is nothing less than systematic abuse.”

Janine McCullough, head teacher at Hillside school, Aberdour, and a member of the national executive committee, outlined to delegates some of the policy initiatives.

These included Getting It Right For Every Child involving working more closely with agencies such as social work and health, the named person scheme and presumption of mainstreaming.

“That’s just naming a few. There are many others including ‘the biggie’ - curriculum for excellence - and the new exam system, assessing how we assess pupils in terms of senior phase, 16-plus transition and so on,” Ms McCullough said.

“We seriously need to ask if all change involves improvement? How would we know which ones have? There are so many overlapping policies. We’re asking the SSTA to petition the Scottish Government to get a moratorium so we can catch our breath.”

Mr Searson said: “Teachers have been overburdened by changes over the last number of years, even more so in recent weeks. So it makes sense to have time to reconsolidate and review the situation.

“All this pressure puts staff under stress and strain leading to many taking voluntary redundancy or just walk away from the profession.”