Same old story

27th February 2004 at 00:00
Reading The TES Scotland front page of January 23, one could almost be forgiven for thinking we were on the threshold of a dramatic change in Scottish education.

The Scottish Executive promised tougher action on indiscipline and a focus on the rights of the majority. They are even commissioning a report on the problem. So far so good. Then we read on.

The research is to be undertaken by Pamela Munn, that advocate of social inclusion. She has an agenda: social inclusion works, and should continue.

Therefore any hopes that this will be a balanced view that might even consider an about-turn on this policy fade into dust.

Likewise Peter Peacock's comments following the publication of new statistics about violence against teachers suggest that we will continue pretty much as before: it is not the system that is faulty, it is the statistics that embarrass the Government. According to him, we need to find new ways of reporting these incidents so that the statistics go down.

Social inclusion, as an instrument to keep violent, abusive and even just highly disruptive pupils within the school, is what is responsible for the increased attacks and indiscipline. It is not the statistics, not the lack of appropriate training for teachers, not even the lack of funds for support staff.

It is time the Executive recognised this and provided proper support for teachers, without whom there would be no education at all.

Rod Harrison Merryvale Crescent Hillpark, Glasgow

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