Revisit job-sizing

22nd August 2003 at 01:00
Two recent letters about the job-sizing scheme (TESS, August 8) merit comment. From his comfortable office in Edinburgh's New Town, Ronnie Smith of the Educational Institute of Scotland rails against a headteacher who has the temerity to question the validity of job-sizing as it relates to his own school.

Ronnie avoids explaining why in Balerno High, the school in question, not only are many of the principal teachers valued below the chartered teacher maximum, but in addition a depute headteacher's salary will be less than that of the unpromoted chartered teacher. The absurd outcome whereby a teacher with no responsibilities whatsoever can be valued higher than a senior manager suggests that the job-sizing "toolkit" may just be fundamentally flawed.

It is not surprising that the ever-sensible Judith Gillespie of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council finds it difficult to empathise with the promoted staff (mainly in secondaries) who have felt badly let down by job-sizing. The whole procedure has been so obscured by smoke and reflected by mirrors that nobody can understand how the outcomes were determined. If school leaders cannot fathom the intricacies, what chance have we of informing our parents and sharing with them our concerns?

She also has not had time to hear the voices of anger and bewilderment amongst senior management teams over a system that could set depute against depute. Ronnie Smith suggests that this will be solved by rotating remits and re-sizing, but fails to recognise that re-sizing will have financial management implications for headteachers, as well as for the post holders.

Finally, it is not correct that "all six" teachers' organisations signed up for anything. The Headteachers' Association of Scotland and our primary counterparts in the Association of Head Teachers in Scotland have consistently and continually been marginalised in the negotiations and discussions of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers.

There is now a pressing need to revisit job-sizing to address the huge number of anomalies and inconsistencies that are emerging, and for a fundamental review of the workings of the SNCT in its present form.

Mike Doig


Headteachers' Association of Scotland

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