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Giving teachers support is vital

As a primary school teacher and, perhaps more importantly, parent of a 14-month-old boy, it was with some disappointment and frustration that I read the misguided comment piece by Elizabeth Smith, education spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives (TESS, January 23).

Without question, we must ensure that skills for life such as the 3Rs are taught and enhanced in primary school. But I do not accept that the most pressing thing for Scottish education in these times is more rigorous testing.

Of greater concern is the number of councils making wholesale cuts in their budgets, which begs the question of how the teachers of tomorrow's children will be supported in the classroom?

What has been seen in Glasgow and Aberdeen should be a priority for Ms Smith and her colleagues, if they really want to improve the 3Rs in primary schools. If, in a few years' time, my son requires extra support in the classroom to develop the 3Rs, I fail to see how more tests will help him when what he and his teacher will really need is more classroom support, smaller classes, better resources and so on. As things stand now, my son will have more chance of getting that support if he misbehaves.

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