Culling the PTs

28th February 2003 at 00:00
Growing unease over the future structure of teaching and management in secondary schools may well leave the spats over probationer teachers looking like little local difficulties. Argyll and Bute's draconian proposals to cut the number of promoted posts by almost a half may be the first to run into resistance from the unions, but it is unlikely to be the last. We should remember, of course, that - pace Captain Mainwaring's cry of "don't they know there's a war on?" - there's an election coming.

Politics aside, there are serious issues that will not readily go away, not least because they are surrounded by suspicion. The shake-up of promoted posts is not just a matter of arid technicalities: it touches on deeply held convictions. Many teachers believe the ambition is simply to save money and to use the agreement as a cloak to mount an assault on subject departments. Some in the education authorities and the Scottish Executive feel this is an ideal opportunity for schools to become cross-curricular and end the turf wars between subjects.

The teachers' agreement simply demands a reduction in the layers of management in secondary schools which is actually being achieved by the abolition of assistant principal teachers, senior teachers and assistant heads. It is therefore pertinent for the management of Dunbar Grammar to ask this week (Platform, page 21): who is going to deliver change if the principal teachers are going to be culled?

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today