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No cash to polish skills

THE Educational Institute of Scotland supports professional development and a supervisory role for the General Teaching Council. But Fred Forrester, the union's depute general secretary, warned that schools cannot afford to release staff.

"If we had an active GTC register it would be a field day for union officials as endless disputes cropped up about whose responsibility it was that teachers had been unable to take up a particular opportunity," Mr Forrester said.

Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP's education spokesperson, said she had been told by the head of a large special needs school that its budget for staff development was just pound;2,000, and he could not justify going on a course because it cost pound;500.

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