How to lose hearts and minds

17th November 2006 at 00:00
As secondary school representatives of the Educational Institute of Scotland, we view with great concern Glasgow City Council's political decision to impose a 33-period week in all its secondary schools from August 2007, without any consultation or discussion of the educational merits or demerits with staff, parents or pupils. Indeed, the council has failed to publish the results of its own evaluation of the new structure.

It is of even greater concern that the introduction of this diktat will coincide with developments to engage and win the hearts and minds of all teachers behind the most significant curricular change in Scottish education for a long time.

A Curriculum for Excellence is an attempt to put pupils back into the heart of the learning and teaching process. But nothing will be achieved without the full engagement of all teachers.

This imposition threatens to undermine the goodwill and commitment necessary for effective change in Glasgow schools. We'll be seeking talks with officials and all councillors to try to reverse the compulsory nature of the council decision.

It would be an opportunity missed if the council were to provoke industrial action, a withdrawal of goodwill and a boycott of extra-curricular activity in the face of its own intransigence, on the eve of significant curricular reform.

The consequences of undermining the morale, confidence and goodwill of Glasgow teachers may well be long-lasting and even tragic given the challenges, and opportunities, that our schools face at a time of significant changes in education.

* Donnelly (Hillpark); P McGie (Smithycroft); L Flanagan (Hillhead); E Humphrey (Lourdes); H Blair (King's Park); R Foote (Cleveden); K Mitchell,

* Boyce, O Marletta (Rosshall); T Murphy (St Roch's); J Hinshelwood (Whitehill); R Dow (St Margaret Mary's); C Ahmed (Knightswood ); J O'Neil (Eastbank); A Mackay (John Paul); L Atkins, T Donnelly (Shawlands); M Mullaney (Notre Dame); C Connolly (Holyrood); R Fotheringham (Bellahouston); H Shields (Bannerman); W Jamieson (Drumchapel); P Young (St Thomas Aquinas); N McMullen (St Andrews); J Gow (Lochend); P Cairney (St Paul's).

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