Being practical about the detail in McCrone

30th March 2001 at 01:00
Now that the McCrone implementation recommendations have been accepted, would this be a good time to point out to Jack McConnell et al that political correctness or ergonomical correctness is not being observed?

Teachers have a common salary scale that ought to reflect equal work. Management, unions and McCrone have ignored the need for the equalisation of class sizes. Subjects are classified as being either "practical", with a maximum of 33 pupils, or "non-practical" with a maximum number of 20. Many of the "practical" subjects have no more need to be so classified than other "non-practical" subjects.

The greater workload involved in teaching, for example, maths or English in "non-practical" classes of 33 compared to so-called practical classes of 20 is ovious. The educational benefits and improvements in discipline are also obvious.

No amount of classroom assistants will redress this imbalance, even in primary classes. If job sizing that primarily involves pupil numbers is appropriate for integration of subject principal teachers, assistant headteachers, depute headteachers and headteachers into the new scales, then it must also be appropriate at maingrade teacher level.

The Scottish Executive has stated that research is to be commissioned to determine the effects of class size on educational attainment. Strangely the research does not include the effect of class size on teacher workload! Will this also require litigation before this anomaly is redressed?

Andrew Nelson Scarletmuir, Lanark

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