Questions raised over burden facing head teachers
The possible threat of an additional strain being placed on head teachers has been raised in the Scottish Parliament.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has faced questions over a review of schools which proposes giving more power to individual schools.
Isles MSP Tavish Scott, who serves on the Scottish parliament’s Holyrood committee, says the workload pressure being placed on schools is “huge”.
He has raised the matter in parliament after meeting with education officials in Hayfield House. He has cited 20,000 pages of educational guidence which teachers are asked to sift through.
Mr Scott said: “The First Minister rightfully acknowledged that if headteachers are to be given more powers, this will present unique challenges to communities like Shetland.
“Across Shetland, 18 out of 29 head teachers also teach. This means extra paperwork and government guidance to wade through, on top of already demanding workloads.
“I would welcome the opportunity to discuss with the Education Secretary how the proposal to give headteachers more control over their schools will work in practice. I want to ensure that John Swinney understands the perspective of our excellent teaching staff as the government finalises its plans.”
Earlier this month education officials and elected members voiced fears that a bureaucratic burden was being placed on head teachers. They agreed to send back a more strongly-worded response to Edinburgh, amid concerns the proposals were failing to give teachers the freedom to teach.
Calls were made by the chairwoman of the SIC’s education and families committee, Vaila Wishart, for “island-proofing” measures to be adopted which should help to protect Shetland’s smaller schools.