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Galbraith grumble on appraisal;News;News amp; Opinion

David Henderson reports from last weekend's EIS education conference in Edinburgh

APPRAISAL is not about performance-related pay and dismissal, Sam Galbraith told the conference. The Children and Education Minister expressed "disappointment" at the lack of interest among teachers and local authorities in a process that was fundamental to raising the professional status of staff.

Guidelines on staff development issued by Labour ministers almost two years ago were designed to remove any threat.

Mr Galbraith said: "It is about establishing a good basis for assessing teachers' development needs, particularly in the context of the school development plan. Quite frankly, I do not see how we can have effective training and development unless it is based on an effective and honest review process. That has to take some account of performance in the classroom."

He has now ordered HM Inspectors to monitor appraisal in their school and council inspections.

Referring to the recent pay and conditions' battle, Mr Galbraith re-emphasised his commitment to scrap the Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee and introduce "a stable structure that provides a basis for agreement, not confrontation".

The challenge was to find a better way of determining teachers' pay within broadly the same public spending.

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