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17th June 2005 at 01:00
It would appear from Ewan Aitken's letter last week that he has been subjected to the same disinformation as his councillor colleagues in Aberdeenshire.

The faculty system was rejected by teachers at the millennium review and was not part of the teachers' agreement. It has been introduced as the result of a unilateral decision on the part of employers, despite unequivocal advice to the contrary from teachers.

Councillor Aitken appears to have underestimated the anger, resentment and mistrust engendered by the imposition of the faculty system. I have tried to be open-minded about it but, so far, I have not met anyone who works in a secondary school who sees benefit in it, though I have met quite a few who are prepared to make the best of what is undoubtedly a bad job. Most people see it as a huge mistake; some would strike because of it if they got the call.

A Curriculum for Excellence will bring us challenges aplenty. The rationale there is explained and exciting. As schools develop to meet these challenges, changes to management structures may be required and could be negotiated in a rational way. The phrase "form follows function" is appropriate. Decide what we want to do, then create a structure which will help it to happen.

Imposing an outdated structure before discussing how the curriculum proposals should be implemented appears to me to be dysfunctional, not modern. We are up for a challenge but we do not need a handicap.

Graham Souter District convener Aberdeenshire SSTA

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