Giving teachers support is vital

13th February 2009 at 00:00

As a primary school teacher and, perhaps more importantly, parent of a 14-month-old boy, it was with some disappointment and frustration that I read the misguided comment piece by Elizabeth Smith, education spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives (TESS, January 23).

Without question, we must ensure that skills for life such as the 3Rs are taught and enhanced in primary school. But I do not accept that the most pressing thing for Scottish education in these times is more rigorous testing.

Of greater concern is the number of councils making wholesale cuts in their budgets, which begs the question of how the teachers of tomorrow's children will be supported in the classroom?

What has been seen in Glasgow and Aberdeen should be a priority for Ms Smith and her colleagues, if they really want to improve the 3Rs in primary schools. If, in a few years' time, my son requires extra support in the classroom to develop the 3Rs, I fail to see how more tests will help him when what he and his teacher will really need is more classroom support, smaller classes, better resources and so on. As things stand now, my son will have more chance of getting that support if he misbehaves.

Name and address supplied.

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