Not just the headline points

16th July 2010 at 01:00

School Leaders Scotland was surprised to find its balanced suggestions to the Donaldson review of teacher education described as a "blunt submission" in your rather partial summary of our submission last week. Our suggestions and observations have been transformed into criticisms.

Our submission was more than 2,500 words long and necessarily offered many qualifying statements rather than headline grabbers.

We indeed identified concerns about the skills of newly-qualified teachers, but you omitted the earlier sentence: "We undoubtedly see some outstanding NQTs who are already highly professional, add real value to their subject department, and who have benefited from the theoretical input of colleges and the practical input of their placement schools."

We are hardly "at odds" with the views of others here. (Thank you for highlighting our concern, however, at the lack of places for these staff.)

You completely omitted our strong support for continuing professional development of staff: "There will be a temptation for local authorities to cut the staff development budget in straitened times - we would argue that there is a strong case for continuing re-investment in your workforce."

While you note our reference to different forms of entry to the profession in England, eg TeachFirst, you significantly omit our qualifying phrase: "subject to suitable quality standards", which is important given the impending demise of the General Teaching Council in England. Few professionals believe that academic ability alone guarantees a good teacher.

Ronnie Summers, education convener, School Leaders Scotland.

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