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”.


Add Your Comment
  • Jerry Edwards

    • October 5th, 2018 18:55

    This is a bit of a problem then.
    It’s not normally I agree with Mr. Moss however, a reduced teaching commitment for Head Teachers means increased teaching staffing means increased funding required for the salary bill. Is the Council about to sanction increased revenue to Children’s Services? I think not. The solution therefore? Shared non-teaching Head Teachers? Not historically a popular model in Shetland. Fewer small schools? Wash my mouth out. You can review until the end of time, but the facts are the facts. We can’t have it all. Or can we?


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.