Teachers To Boycott Curriculum For Excellence

Teachers are to step up industrial action against reforms by boycotting work associated with the Curriculum for Excellence, union leaders have announced.

The NASUWT said it has given notice it will be escalating its current action from Thursday May 12.

It comes amid claims from the union that the reforms have "simply piled on the pressure'' to teachers across the country.

Members of the NASUWT are being instructed to refuse to comply with planning, assessment and reporting work linked to Curriculum for Excellence which does not meet the recommendations made by a specialist group set up to make the reforms less bureaucratic.

That could see them refusing to submit daily or weekly plans as well as not producing detailed folios of pupils' work to support assessments.

NASUWT general-secretary Chris Keates said the instruction "to escalate our existing industrial action will empower teachers to challenge and remove the unnecessary bureaucratic burdens being placed upon them by the Curriculum for Excellence''.

She added it would also help teachers "take control of their professional lives and to focus on their core role of teaching''.

Ms Keates said: "Teachers need more than fine words from the Government and employers about tackling workload, they need action.

"Pupils are entitled to be taught by those whose working conditions enable them to focus on teaching and learning.

"The NASUWT escalation of action will protect teachers and pupils in the face of the failure of Government and employers to do so.''

She stated: "Excessive workload is blighting teachers' professional lives and affecting their health and wellbeing, yet the Government and employers are failing to act.

"The reforms to the curriculum and qualifications systems have simply piled on the pressure. 

"Recommendations made by a Government Working Group set up to examine these issues are being ignored by employers and schools. With 87% of teachers citing workload as their biggest concern and two thirds considering leaving the profession all together, this situation cannot be allowed to continue. Teachers are tired, exhausted and disillusioned.''

Jane Peckham, national official for the NASUWT in Scotland, said: "Talented teachers are being driven out of the profession because of the burden of excessive workload.

"Yet the Government and employers fail to act. If it wasn't for the NASUWT action already in place, this situation would be far worse.

"This new instruction will help to address the specific burdens generated by the Curriculum for Excellence.

"The NASUWT has warned repeatedly that unless teachers' terms and conditions are made statutory, schools and employers will simply fail to take the necessary action to address teachers' concerns.''

A spokesman for the SNP said: "We urge the NASUWT to pursue its concerns through discussions rather than industrial action, which would not be in the interests of anyone, least of all pupils and parents.

"We have made education, and specifically closing the attainment gap in order to give every child in Scotland the same chance in life, a key priority.

"And if we are re-elected this week, the SNP will work tirelessly to support our teachers to ensure that they are well placed to provide the best education possible in our schools.''

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