All-time low for morale

Morale in staffrooms has hit rock bottom. Teachers throughout Britain, but especially in Scotland, are feeling insecure and disillusioned, and they point the finger at Government policies.

These are the central findings of an in-depth study of teacher attitudes, carried out exclusively for The TES and The TES Scotland by Research Services Ltd using the "focus group" techniques used by the major political parties to gauge the state of mind of key voters.

Six groups of primary and secondary teachers were interviewed in England and Scotland. They were asked to identify their priorities in education and to evaluate the parties' policies for schools. Job insecurity and anger at working conditions were themes running across the country from St Albans to Glasgow.

Morale, however, appeared even lower north of the border despite the absence from Scottish schools of some Tory initiatives.

The Glasgow group expressed alienation from London rule without embracing an independence agenda.

Throughout the country emphasis was placed on early years education even by secondary teachers. It is a main feature of the mini-manifestos which each group was asked to draw up.

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