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Heads dodge the draft

In his presidential address to the secondary heads, Lindsay Roy, headteacher of Inverkeithing High, expressed the HAS's "profound disagreement" with any compulsory transfer of heads to take over struggling schools that have received poor HMI reports.

Mr Roy commented: "We would have no objections whatsoever if such a move was to be reached by mutual agreement. I am sure that there would be an outcry if central government tried to impose such an arrangement on councils, transferring heads of education from one authority to another."

He also called on the Scottish Executive to carry out a radical review of teacher training placements. "No longer can we depend on grace and favour," he said. "We need something closer to the probationer year arrangements under the national agreement."

The address returned to a familiar HAS theme - claims that local authorities allocate education budgets differently, leaving similar schools working with quite different levels of funding.

"We are keen to find that Heineken factor which would ensure that central funding reaches parts of school life that so far have not been reached," Mr Roy said.

There were also serious concerns about the imposition of slimline management structures. "Staff in these schools have already indicated that real issues are emerging about their ability to maintain, never mind improve, standards and quality," he said.

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