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'In reality, there is no local control'

IN ITS preliminary findings, issued before any ruling on whether primary heads are entitled to parity with secondary colleagues, the tribunal found "very little scope for individual local authorities to vary, either by increasing or decreasing an individual teacher's salary.

"In effect, councils are regulated by what is known as the 'Yellow Book' and any attempt to depart from the terms of that scheme of terms and conditions is likely to be subject to a judicial review."

The judgment adds: "It seemed to us that, in reality, there is no local control of a teacher's pay and conditions. The education Acts impose statutory duties on local authorities as education authorities, and these responsibilities vary very little from authority to authority.

"As far as possible, common standards are set, and where the standards are not met, the Secretary of State has powers to insist that improvements are made."

The tribunal continues: "The reality is that the education authority for each area of the country administers its functions to some extent on behalf of the Secretary of State and is answerable to him in a wide variety of areas as well as to the electorate."

It concludes: "Overall, it seems to us that there is in Scotland an education 'service' in a 'loose and non-technical sense'."

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