Teacher unions' concern about school discipline will be taken to the STUC next week in Edinburgh. A motion from the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association calls on all local authorities to review policies on disruptive pupils and exclusions from school.
The association says that disruptive behaviour has been increasing for some years, and adds: "There has been evidence that some schools may try to conceal the problem."
Underfunding is at the core of most of the education and training resolutions which will be debated on Monday, the opening day of the congress. The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers fresh from its own national conference in Glasgow, condemns the "ludicrous disparity" between the Pounds 6,600 given by the Government to each pupil in the assisted places scheme with the money allocated to children in local authority schools. There should be "parity of treatment pending the abolition of the scheme".
Unison, which has a strong presence among non-teaching staff in schools, adds a strongly worded addition claiming that "the Government is cynically imposing cuts in Scottish education in order to fund tax cuts in advance of the next general election".
The funding of post-school education and of students in particular draws stern criticism, most notably from Irvine trades union council which talks about a "concerted onslaught on students from working class backgrounds". The Scottish Further and Higher Education Association urges the Government "to at the least stabilise and preferably increase the quantum of resources available to FE in line with the expansion in student numbers." Funding should be for three years to allow development planning, the SFHEA adds.
Both the Association of University Teachers and the Educational Institute of Scotland are looking for reform in the funding mechanisms for higher education. The AUT says that the the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, the "largest spending quango", should become more representative and democratically accountable.
The Electrical and Plumbing Industries Union wants to "promote trade unionism among school-leavers and inform them of the benefits membership can provide for their protection and guidance".