The "grudging respect" afforded to teaching's regulatory body, seen as a "necessary evil" by the profession, would disappear if there was any dilution of teacher representation on it, according to Peter Wright, incoming president of the SSTA. The union voted unanimously to resist any reform to the General Teaching Council for Scotland that would reduce "the relative proportion of members elected by teachers andor which removes specific representation for secondary teachers".
The biggest threat to staff safety is violent pupils, the SSTA conference heard. The union voted overwhelmingly in favour of violent pupils being returned to classes only after an educational psychologist had completed a risk assessment. "Pupils reappear in the same class as people they have assaulted after three days," said Graham Robertson from East Dunbartonshire. "There was an example in my school of a pupil being returned later the same day. I don't think that's good enough. There's a real risk and it has to be assessed."