Devolution challenge by EIS dissident

As schools return for the new session, we review Brian Wilson's first three months as Education Minister and the impact on schools.

The right of the Educational Institute of Scotland to speak for teachers in its pursuit of a devolved parliament has been challenged by Stewart Whyte, convener of Teachers Say No No, an offshoot of the Think Twice campaign.

Mr Whyte, an Aberdeen supply teacher of history, disputed the union's claim last week that there was no groundswell of opposition by teachers to devolution and queried the grant of Pounds 50,000 to the pro-devolution Scotland Forward campaign. "I do not pay my dues for that," Mr Whyte said.

But Ian McCalman, the EIS's president, told a Scotland Forward press conference that there had been no challenge to the use of the institute's political fund and pledged that in the run-up to the September 11 referendum posters would be sent to all schools.

But Mr Whyte, a member of the Conservative party, said the Yes, Yes teachers' campaign still had to spell out positive benefits which would offset extra bureaucracy and the costs of Scottish MPs' salaries.

"Labour and the Liberal Democrats talk about a high priority for education, but it isn't what they do in local government," he said.

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