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Teacher wish list for STUC

Douglas Mackie, president of the Educational Institute of Scotland, delivered a wide-ranging wish list at the Scottish Trades Union Congress in Glasgow last week.

It ranged from cuts in curriculum content, workload and assessment to integrated community schools, social inclusion, class sizes and personal learning plans, with a special plea on pupil indiscipline.

In a robust and upbeat appraisal of the role of comprehensive schools, Mr Mackie said: "Our comprehensive system continues to deliver year on year, raising levels of attainment and achievement, a level of success highlighted by dozens of national inspections in schools throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, from rural areas such as Argyll and Bute where I work, to the towns and cities of central Scotland."

But these successes and ambitious plans for the future come at a cost, Mr Mackie said. "In too many cases in recent years that cost has been borne by an increasingly stressed and harassed workforce. That is why it will be vital that future plans are based on careful planning and build on the strengths already in the system."

But indiscipline had to be addressed. "The pupils of today are different from the pupils I taught over 25 years ago. Rightly, they are aware of their rights and what to expect from the adults they come into contact with.

"However, with rights come responsibilities and an increasing number of young people seem unaware . . . of the need to recognise them. Teachers go to school to teach, support staff to support and pupils to learn. No one is there to be physically or verbally assaulted."

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