Heed, don't heckle, heads

11th December 1998 at 00:00
TEACHERS need more support and less blame from politicians and schools need more teachers, books and equipment, according to the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

A survey of 147 secondary heads shows more money has been injected into schools this year but only back to levels in 1996-97 and well below that six years ago.

Nicol Stephen, the party's Scottish parliament education spokesman, said two-thirds of schools had suffered increased class sizes and cuts in books and equipment and a third now offer fewer subjects or combination of subjects.

"The message that rings out from this report is listen to what education professionals have to say and give them the resources to do the job properly.

"There can be few jobs as over-criticised and under-funded as teaching. Scotland's teachers deserve praise for soldiering on in such a beleaguered profession," he said.

The survey, carried out in the autumn, was sent out to all secondaries. A quarter of the responding heads say halting the flow of initiatives would improve teachers' morale. Nineteen per cent suggest increasing pay.

Over nine out of ten heads (92 per cent) say they are dissatisfied with the level of materials, support and training for Higher Still and 84 per cent are dissatisfied with the curriculum, exam and monitoring systems for the post-16 reforms.

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