Results of clear-out

4th February 2000 at 00:00
THE evidence to the McCrone committee from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities which you reported (January 28) shows how right the teachers have been proved in their refusal to bend to the pressure of the Millennium Review.

It indicates that critics of alleged teacher luddism, including I think The TES Scotland in editorials, were entirely mistaken.

Representatives of the employers now admit they got it wrong. In particular the foolish attempt to remove principal teachers is now being withdrawn as a management aim.

The structure of Scottish secondaries was put at risk in the midst of fundamental course and

exam reforms because the council leadership devised a scheme that would not work and then would not admit their error. In retrospect, the clear-out of senior

councillors in last May's elec-tions has proved a boon. Their

successors appear less entrenched.

Your report suggested that the climbdown might be opportunistic only - an attempt to win union backing. The implication of that would be a hope that discredited ideas might be revived in the future. Surely McCrone will not allow for that possibility?

By their concessions the local authorities have shown they were wrong before. McCrone should not be tempted to go down the abandoned paths.

Above all, the committee of inquiry should be reassured that teachers best know their own professional needs and the arrangements to ensure the best opportunities for pupils.

Progress is now possible if the committee continues to listen to teachers' views and eschews notions of "efficiency" measures which have already been rejected by 98 per cent of the profession.

David Wilson



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