Clouds ruin rosy picture

26th November 2004 at 00:00
I was somewhat taken aback to read the comment by Morag Gunion, HMI, in last week's TESS in which she claimed that indiscipline in schools is being conquered. In fact, reading further into your report makes me wonder whether that is what she actually did say because Ms Gunion seemed quick to qualify her remarks.

The picture is "mixed", she conceded. Indeed. The improvements HMI has detected appear to be almost entirely confined to primaries - the "havens of tranquillity" that Alan McLean referred to elsewhere in the same issue.

Ms Gunion also suggested that behaviour is better in schools that are well led.

These are important qualifications in the otherwise rosy picture that your report implies. I know that the Executive keeps trumpeting its actions in tackling indiscipline, and I appreciate that every little improvement helps. But we should not lose sight of the fact that behaviour problems in secondary schools remain a major blot on the landscape - and we should also remember that not every school is well led.

Jim MacKay

Great Western Road


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