No faith in headteachers' right to veto

11th January 2008 at 00:00
Having read Michael O'Neill's comments about chartered teachers (TESS December 2128), I am thankful that the Educational Institute of Scotland has asserted the right of any teacher to study for a higher education qualification if they choose, irrespective of any disciplinary sanctions applied by their headteacher.

Earlier this year, I received a formal warning from my headteacher - for missing one departmental review meeting. If I wished to embark on further study at my own expense, neither my headteacher nor any other regional appointee should have any right of veto.

I studied successfully with the Open University for my second degree (maths) in order to teach it. My first subject had been Latin, where teaching opportunities had shrunk, and I wanted to continue teaching after raising my family. No one vetoed that.

Embarking on a course of study, as the EIS rightly points out, does not guarantee success: you need to have ability and commitment to achieve it.

I do not share Mr O'Neill's confidence in a headteacher's ability to judge these. Indeed, my experience of having a disciplinary record, based on such trivial grounds, rather suggests that headteachers' judgments may be precariously, rather than professionally, balanced.

HM Wilson

Torr an Eas, Glenfinnan, Lochaber.

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