EIS leader sounds warning note on McCrone shake-up

26th January 2001 at 00:00
There are still huge organisational changes ahead in schools before the post-McCrone pay and conditions deal operates as planned, Sandy Fowler, vice-president of the Educational Institute of Scotland, told a union meeting in Perth.

But "consensual decision-making" was at the heart of the reforms and a central plank of the agreement was that future planning on how schools work must include all teachers, Mr Fowler said.

"For many, perhaps most, schools such decision-making on a collective basis will mark a complete change in the way in which schools are organised at present. It has significant implications for the way in which managers of schools, including headteachers, work," he said.

"But it wil also have implications for all teaching staff in school, becoming involved, often for the first time, in important decisions about the running of the school and about arrangements for youngsters."

Collective decision-making offered a route to controlling workload and collegiate time, including the organisation of parents' evenings, staff meetings and curricular development. Progress would only be possible, however, if there was a change in culture.

Mr Fowler said that safeguards would protect staff in their use of time within the working day and week, even if the cultural change did not come about. The "narrowly focused codified approach" to teachers' time was now consigned to the past.

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