Guidance revolt over EIS deal

7th March 2003 at 00:00
EIGHT guidance staff at Holyrood Secondary in Glasgow - one of the largest schools in Scotland - have publicly rebelled against their local negotiators in the Educational Institute of Scotland after a contentious pastoral care deal was agreed with the city council.

Anita O'Hagan, an assistant principal teacher of guidance and group spokeswoman, describes the agreement as a "shabby treatment of staff and a scandalous waste of expertise and resources". The deal is said to show "scant regard" for the needs of children.

Glasgow is ditching its guidance structures and introducing a pastoral care system which makes all secondary teachers responsible for a core group of pupils. Management duties will be carried out by principal teachers of guidance once the posts of assistant and senior teacher disappear at the end of the session.

But Ms O'Hagan, who has complained to the union nationally and to Mike Watson, her MSP, says guidance staff have been badly represented and that the deal breaks the spirit of the post-McCrone agreement. "The parents have not been informed that their children's guidance teachers will be removed from post by August," she said.

Ms O'Hagan complains that local negotiators have failed to agree any protection against compulsory transfer in the shake-up of posts over the summer and any guarantee of time to carry out duties.

"In addition, a number of willing, well-qualified and experienced guidance staff who would have chosen to continue their caseload only (and no management duties), have been instructed that this will certainly not be an option, despite the McCrone agreement," she states.

A transitional arrangement for APTs which she thought had been accepted by union negotiators did not appear in the final agreement.

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