Business bashing

5th May 2000 at 01:00
YOUR leader "Not in the real world" (TESS, April 21), on CBI Scotland's latest skills report, is good knockabout stuff - "well-intentioned naivety . . . little idea . . .

uninformed speculations". It's just a pity you didn't do your readers the courtesy of actually reading our report, before launching such a diatribe.

For example, you criticise our call for employability skills and attitudes to be embedded in the curriculum by saying that "even a closer reading of documents from the SCCC and SQA would have made the penners of the 'radical' report temper their uninformed speculations". But to read those reports is just one of the things we did, and on page 15 we recognise that several of these employability components feature in documents such as the SCCC's Curriculum Design for the Secondary Stages. But we worry that:

The sheer volume of guidance (that is) issued to schools must mean that (these) elements may be marginalised

While . . . many of the core skills can be developed through traditional sujects, there is no guarantee that this will be done

The defined core skills are given prominence (over) work related values and attitudes, and skills such as customer service skills.

Now, all these points may be open to challenge, but are surely worthy of serious debate, rather than derisory comments reminiscent of the playground.

And there are several other points in our document - including our submission to the McCrone inquiry - which your report distorted out of recognition, the easier to attack them.

In my discussions with our business members, I was struck by how little interest in "teacher-bashing" there was, and by the belief expressed that on some issues such as continuing professional development and pay progression (though not in other areas), teachers had had a raw deal. The sort of defensive posturing exhibited by your leader is hardly going to encourage that sort of approach from business.

Matthew Farrow

Head of policy, CBI Scotland,

Claremont Terrace, Glasgow


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