Schools on the brink;Letter

11th June 1999 at 01:00
HAVING read Ross Martin's article (Platform, May 28), I can understand his wishing to go down with all guns blazing, but not his seeming desire to take the whole of the school education system with him.

The management side's proposals were thoroughly examined, debated and rejected by teachers. His gibes about "the self-serving bureaucracy" do him no credit and only serve to illustrate how out of touch with the realities in schools he is.

I could go through a detailed list of the lunacies within the package, but they have all been expressed before and we do need to move on.

Schools are approaching the brink of a precipice. Expectations are heaped on them beyond their ability to deliver, salaries have been depressed over a large number of years and the people who promised to deliver us from this evil are perpetuating it. Mr Martin's refusal to recognise that he and his colleagues got it badly wrong edges us slightly closer to disaster.

Some areas of school life never recovered from the last round of industrial action in the mid-eighties. Worse could happen if we reach that point again.

Things will improve when negotiators show mutual respect, trust and understanding, but that has to be earned. It cannot be demanded. Mr Martin's petulant ramblings are not a significant contribution.

When Brian Wilson left the post of education minister he was scathing about the quality of advice he received while in office. Has Ross Martin been listening to the same advisers, or was he, perchance, one of them?

Graham Souter Buchan Place, Fraserburgh

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