Lib Dems Seek Review Of Teachers' Conditions

6 August 2017, 07:43

school classroom

The party wants to revisit the 2001 McCrone Agreement, which aimed to improve the professional conditions of service and pay for teachers.

Education spokesman Tavish Scott said a "McCrone 2" is needed to take into account the increasing workloads and responsibilities of teachers.

He said: "It has been well over a decade since the McCrone Report and Agreement. Teachers have told me that it is no longer fair nor representative of what they are required to do.

"Their workloads have increased, they have seen cuts to support in the classroom, and new powers and responsibilities are on their way to schools and head teachers in particular.

"That it is why it is time for a new independent root-and-branch review of the arrangements for teachers - McCrone 2.

"Teaching is an amazing profession but there is an urgent need to make it more desirable to potential and existing teachers. They have a right to manageable workloads, sufficient time to prepare engaging lessons and to not be burdened with bureaucracy. It is clear that isn't happening at the moment.

"With exam results published this week and many schools returning the week after, teachers and pupils will be getting to grips with the challenges of the year ahead.

"Teachers' working arrangements must be fit for purpose if they are all to be given the best chance of succeeding."

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the Scottish Government had already acted to reduce teacher workload.

He said: "As agreed with the EIS and others, we are phasing the removal of mandatory unit assessments for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications.

"We have also issued a definitive statement that clearly sets out, for all teachers, what they should and should not be asked to do and reviewed demands placed on schools by local authorities in relation to Curriculum for Excellence.

"Teachers' pay and conditions of service are matters for the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT). Negotiations are currently ongoing and the Scottish Government will play its part in that process."