Culture of fear in some schools

25th June 2010 at 01:00
Disagreement over Curriculum for Excellence

I feel compelled to reply to Brian Boyd's riposte (June 11) to my letter and point out how much he has actually misread it.

Professor Boyd asked "what is this correspondent afraid of?" If he cared to read my letter properly and in substance, rather than choose to be offended, he would have realised it was not retribution from him which was the reason for anonymity but from my school leadership. His attitude to people who disagree with his view of Curriculum for Excellence is mirrored much more seriously (even vindictively) by management teams across the country where cards are marked and grudges held against teachers who dare to voice criticisms.

If, as Professor Boyd states, he has had experience of workplace bullying, he should realise why I chose not to put my name at the end of my letter.

He also chose to ignore any of my concerns about the new curriculum and its general impact on education in Scotland, such as the erosion of subject specialisms, prescriptive curriculums and skills, workload issues and assessment.

Hopefully, one day, I will be in a position where I will not feel the need to protect myself by remaining anonymous in letters to The TESS. However, such is the atmosphere in a lot of Scottish schools (including my own, obviously) to supposed "malcontents" that this culture of fear will continue to remain and suck the morale from staff at such a critical time.

Curriculum malcontent, Name and address supplied.

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