Call made for review into teaching head teachers
The chairman of the council’s education and families committee has called for a review of where teaching head teachers are deployed in isles schools.
George Smith made the call as elected members discussed external audit reports by Education Scotland on primary schools in Sandness and Cunningsburgh.
Mr Smith said he had attended a parent council meeting at Cunningsburgh Primary where “anxieties” were raised by parents over expectations placed on the head teacher.
“I wonder if it would be time to review our scheme in terms of where we deploy non-teaching head teachers and where we deploy teaching head teachers,” he said.
“In schools like Cunningsburgh there is a huge expectation on the head teacher.
“We want to deliver the best service we can, and we are expected now to be empowering head teachers.”
His suggestion gained support from Lerwick South councillor, Peter Campbell, who described it as a “sensible proposal”.
“We do need to recognise the fact that where we have early years units and a class teaching head teacher, there is a tremendous amount of responsibility being placed on that individual.”
He added the committee had come to anticipate “glowing” inspection reports.
“The more we have pressures building up on our head teachers, the greater risk there is of diminished quality reports.”
Director of children’s services, Helen Budge, said a review would be possible.
Lerwick North councillor John Fraser said it was important to remember the reports for Cunningsburgh and Sandness were positive overall.
Shetland Central member Davie Sandison said it was important not to “rest on our laurels”.