Shortage of senior staff hits rural schools

14th February 2003 at 00:00
National management conference faces up to the realities of the McCrone shake-up

THE president of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland forecasts sweeping structural changes in rural primaries because recruitment to senior posts is proving increasingly difficult.

Fraser Sanderson, education director in Dumfries and Galloway, said the number of applicants for each post had halved while the country's four largest rural authorities, covering two-thirds of the landmass, had only 105 out of this year's 2,100 probationers, endangering future recruitment.

Mr Sanderson said Dumfries and Galloway was looking to cluster management for primaries, not least because of the workload on heads and the development of interprofessional co-operation under the new community school agenda.

"We will look at the non-class-committed, cluster management headteacher with principal teachers in the management role in the various schools. We will look at a team of visiting specialists to support that group, a team of classroom assistants and children's services teams across that group," he said.

Michael White, the Professional Association of Teachers' Scottish officer, said there was a clear reason why teachers were put off from applying. "A lot of excellent primary teachers won't touch the job with a bargepole because they see what the job is doing to their head."

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