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The mythology that surrounds guidance

There is certainly a need for discussion about the future of guidance and Glasgow Educational Institute of Scotland have conveyed a number of our thoughts on this key area to the city's education department.

Unfortunately that essential discussion is not helped by the creative rewriting of the McCrone agreement by some leading personae in the guidance world. The myth that first-line guidance is now "part of a teacher's contractual agreement", pace Ms Scott, Glasgow's guidance adviser, is exactly that - a myth. Nowhere in annex B of the agreement outlining teachers' duties is there any mention of "first-line guidance" or "pastoral care". The wording of annex B is only marginally different from the old para 10 of the "yellow book" on teachers' conditions. In no way can it be construed to create a whole new contractual duty on all teachers to become quasi-guidance staff.

There is a reference to "providing advice and guidance to pupils on matters related to their education" in annex B. That was present in old para 10 too. It is not new. It is what any reasonable, professional teacher will do day and daily going about his or her subject teaching. It is an extrapolation too far to suggest this - or any other item in annex B - allows for the dragooning of all teachers into taking on duties previously undertaken as part of promoted guidance posts.

Our starting point must include an understanding of what annex B actually says, not what some people might wish it said. The view that annex B has changed a teacher's contractual position vis-...-vis guidancepastoral care looks to me like wish fulfilment. It's certainly not in the text.

Willie Hart


Glasgow Local Association

Educational Institute of Scotland

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