Time for action and debate is now

19th September 2003 at 01:00
Your articles on the effect of job-sizing on the teaching profession have raised many fundamental questions. Unfortunately, the response of Glasgow's depute director George Gardner added nothing to sensible debate (TESS, last week).

His assertion (frequently trotted out) that job-sizing was part of a negotiated agreement to which we all signed up cuts no ice.

So was a 35-hour working week, but I challenge Mr Gardner to ask how many of those whose posts were job-sized are working as little as a 35-hour week. The answer is very few, and this is down to their dedication and professionalism as the job can't be done in 35 hours. Very few are complaining about this: they are just getting on with the job.

Yes, promoted staff agreed to job-sizing but they were expecting to be consulted on the process and for it to be open and fair. We are continually being extolled as schools to consult with parents, pupils etc. How many teachers were consulted on the process of job-sizing? The grapevine would indicate that the Educational Institute of Scotland is losing promoted secondary staff at an alarming rate, an indication of the strength of feeling.

There is only one solution. The criteria used for job-sizing must be made available for sensible and open debate so that the process can be refined and reapplied if appropriate. For anything less to occur is an insult to natural justice and paves the way for years of festering resentment in the secondary sector especially and a promoted post structure that is open to ridicule and derision.

The time for action is now, not later.

Campbell Robertson (depute rector) Argyll Place Aberdeen

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