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Misguided attack on Glasgow guidance deal

It was with some surprise that I read the article "Guidance on the cheap", and what you described as a "thinly disguised attack on the Educational Institute of Scotland" from Jim Docherty of the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association (TESS, February 28).

First, the SSTA has not at any point in the Glasgow negotiations dissented from the proposals finally agreed; indeed one of the negotiators is an SSTA member.

Second, has Mr Docherty act-ually read the agreement? I think he might agree that whether someone is called a student tutor or a register teacher is really neither here nor there. What counts is the task required to be carried out by the person.

So we have been careful in Glasgow to avoid any ambiguity by agreeing a detailed exemplification of the type of activity that might be expected of a pastoral tutor.

Anyone perusing the list of potential duties will see at a glance that it is essentially what register teachers currently do - collect absence notes, inform pupils of career nights and parent meetings, distribute information relating to time-tables, check homework diaries.

This is not the work of specialist guidance staff. Indeed, we have a separate agreement concerning the work of principal teachers of guidancepastoral care which clearly states that all management duties of previous assistant principal teachers of guidance must transfer to either existing PTs, with additional time, or to new PT posts.

The same agreement prohibits the carrying out of management duties relating to guidance by former APTs or senior teachers who become conserved at point 3 on the chartered teacher scale. That would have been "guidance on the cheap" but it is a scenario that has been successfully avoided in Glasgow.

If Mr Docherty wishes more information on this matter, may I suggest he contact his colleague on the teachers' side of the Glasgow negotiating committee, or alternatively the EIS office which will provide him with an accurate basis for any future comments.

Larry Flanagan

Chair of the teachers' side

Glasgow Local Negotiating Committee for Teachers

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