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Pupils used as pawns in dispute

YOUR reference in Jotter (TESS, December 22) to the situation at Douglas Academy was the first I have seen to an industrial relations problem which has become increasingly serious for the 1,000 pupils at the school, but especially for the 30 music specialists who are normally resident at the St Andrews campus because they live outwith daily travelling distance. This includes pupils from Ardrishaig, Dunblane, Dundee, Kilmarnock, Lanark, Ullapool and Stranraer.

Teachers like myself, who work daily with Unison members, find it increasingly mystifying and that one single school i the whole of Scotland should be targeted in this way. I know that some of the East Dunbartonshire members are also unhappy at children being used in this way, so I can only assume that the union's Scottish leadership is supporting this highly questionable strategy.

I have sent a message to Keith Sonnet, the acting general secretary of Unison, in the hope that someone will bang a few heads together and allow local Unison members to resume their normal highly supportive role at the school, for the sake of the children.

Steve Flower

Lewis Street, Stranraer

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