McCrone mistakes

15th December 2000 at 00:00
I MUST take issue with Neil Munro's upbeat assessment of progress in the McCrone talks (TESS, December 1). No one I have spoken to is happy with the contracted 35-hour week. Teachers are sceptical about the feasibility of preventing the time being filled with yet more underdeveloped curricular initiatives.

They do not share the apparent enthusiasm of teacher union officials and negotiators for the managerialist agenda underpinning the McCrone proposals. The money on offer amounts to no more than the shortfall in teachers' salaries as against average earnings during the nineties.

Far from enhancing professionalis, the talks are going to produce proposals for much more management control of teacher time. Pressure to develop the curriculum would constantly force teachers to spend more and more of their own time (beyond the 35 hours) doing basic preparation and marking work for classes.

New Labour is strongly represented at these talks on the Scottish Executive side, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities side and the union side. Teachers know that the spin put on the outcome is bound to reflect this.

John Dennis

Educational Institute of Scotland

executive council member for Dumfries and Galloway

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