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10th October 2014 at 01:00

Tacking bureaucracy in schools - a different view

The EIS teaching union has a number of reservations regarding the article "Teachers still can't see the work for the trees" (26 September).

This article was based on a joint EIS-Education Scotland CPD event with no accredited media in attendance. This meeting, held on a Saturday morning in Edinburgh (not Glasgow, as erroneously reported in the article), was very well attended and offered teachers the opportunity to consider how the recommendations of the Tackling Bureaucracy in Schools report might be applied at school level to help to reduce unnecessary paperwork.

However, the EIS has concerns regarding the way in which TESS reported the event. The 54 per cent figure highlighted in your accompanying graphic was used out of context and creates a misleading impression of what was said at the meeting. The graphic states: "Limited impact: 54 per cent - proportion of schools that said a government report into cutting red tape was not being implemented". This is not a claim that was actually made at the meeting.

What was reported at the meeting, and more accurately reflected in main text of your article, is that 54 per cent of teachers feel that the report has not been applied specifically to the process of negotiating working time agreements in schools. However, it is not a measure of the number of teachers who have engaged with the broader tackling-bureaucracy agenda, nor is it an indicator of the number of schools which have made use of the report to address other workload issues.

Clearly much work is still to be done to deliver the recommendations of the report and to tackle excessive teacher workload in schools. The EIS remains committed to working constructively with the Scottish government, local authorities and national education agencies to cut bureaucracy and lighten teacher workload.

Brian Cooper

Head of communications, the Educational Institute of Scotland

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