New website for Scottish teachers to raise education fears anonymously
Mark Wilson, a Fife-based science teacher, has created the website to counter ministers’ “arrogant” responses to teachers’ criticisms of the education system.
The “Dear Madam President” blog went online this week and follows a series of anonymous open letters sent to education secretary John Swinney highlighting the pressures teachers are facing.
The blog criticised Mr Swinney for accusing his opponents of politicising education at the recent SNP conference.
The blog added: “This statement, coming from an education minister who refuses to listen to practising teachers and who is dismissive in his responses to professionals seeking assistance, appears to be nothing short of arrogance.”
Last year Mr Wilson wrote a letter to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon describing the education system as “utterly broken” and branded the Curriculum for Excellence as a “disaster”.
Yesterday Mr Wilson said: “My belief is that teachers are not being listened to and I am trying to provide a place where they will be listened to – but one where they are not risking their reputation or the job for what they think is right.”
Mr Swinney said: “I hugely value the passion and commitment of teachers and headteachers, and the vital contribution they make to raising attainment and improving outcomes for our children week in, week out,
“I meet teachers and hear first-hand the challenges they face – and any teacher is free to write to me to make constructive suggestions or ask to meet me.
“Shortly after being appointed education secretary in 2016, I established the Teacher Panel as a way to directly listen to and engage with teachers.
“The panel meets quarterly to discuss issues and concerns facing the teaching profession.
“The widespread topics addressed by the Teacher Panel have included the curriculum, tackling bureaucracy, assessment, benchmarks, national qualifications, mainstreaming, additional support for learning, initial teacher education, recruitment and retention and pupil participation.”