Stand aside and let in a McCrone probationer

Let's hear it for McCrone and all his cronies. Probationers have had a bad deal in the past. Countless times I have felt amazed by the statistics of notoriously long probationary periods.

So now we have a protective plan for probationers. Get out of university free or guaranteed at least one year of non-interrupted teaching. It sounds like good news for probationers, doesn't it? That is until you think about who is being moved out of the way for these lucky McCrone probationers. The pre-McCrone probationers.

Yes, these same probationers who are constant statistics for having drawn-out probationary periods and an unfortunate school-hopping experience from pre-McCrone days when they were useful supply teachers. Now, again, that is what seems to be their luck of the draw. When they have a final chance at a non-interrupted career they are being asked to move out for the McCrone probationers to move in.

Some are even having their probation shortened, and are removed to make way for the new policy. If this is not robbing Peter to pay Paul, what is it? To assist new teachers in their careers is in practice sacrificing those same probationers that have been dealt such a bad deal.

Providing jobs for teachers should not remind one of a game of chess. Probationers should not be dispensable pawns one year and then kings the next for political expediency in education policy.

Linda Bryan Lancaster Avenue Beith, Ayrshire

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