Election 2021: What if teachers wrote manifestos?

When Scottish teachers laid out their dream manifestos, some ideas were a far cry from politicians' priorities

Henry Hepburn

Scottish Parliament election 2021: What do teachers want? Smaller class sizes, less contact time and better pay for those working in schools in disadvantaged areas

We've already heard plenty about what politicians' education priorities would be if they won a mandate in the Scottish Parliament election on 6 May  but what about the people who actually work in education? What would they focus on if they were asked to draw up a political manifesto?

That was the very question asked on Twitter by secondary headteacher and Billy Burke  also a former president of School Leaders Scotland – who received a wealth of thought-provoking responses, covering a number of ideas that are nowhere to be seen among the pledges of any political party in the campaign for the Scottish Parliament election so far.


Scottish Parliament election 2021: What teachers want from the politicians

Here is a selection of the responses:

"More teachers, smaller class sizes, better training on ASN (additional support needs) so that children weren't blamed for the school environment, commitment to #InclusivePedagogy."

"Commitment to having one organisation who write the entire curriculum from early years to S6 including the assessments for seniors."

"I would revisit McCrone [the landmark 2001 agreement on teachers' pay and conditions in Scotland] and build in time for collaboration within and between schools. Collaboration as in co-construction, not 'show and tell'".

Scottish Parliament election 2021: The parties' education policies

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"Huge investment in teachers and teaching to reduce contact time so that deep intellectual preparation and planning can occur. The highest quality curriculum to be written and resources so that teachers focus on pedagogy. Rid us of all the nonsense and noise so that teaching is what we discuss and think about the most. Department co-planning to support all teachers to deliver the highest quality of instruction."

"Minimum class size of 20 for every secondary school subject. The classification of PE as 'non-practical' absolutely does my head in, despite almost 20 years in the game."

"Increase pay for teachers who work in areas of high deprivation. If we make these the most attractive schools to work in then our young people who need the most support will benefit the most."

"Reduce contact time to enable more opportunities for departmental collaboration. Rid ourselves of 33 periods and timetable extracurricular opportunities. Examinations at ALL levels to increase the perceived value of N4 (National 4) in particular.

"Smaller class sizes. Funding for new books and libraries. And play-based resources for early years."

"Do away with outdated school holidays. No need for seven weeks during the summer."

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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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