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Union call for 'zero tolerance' exclusion

HEADTEACHERS should stop manipulating the exclusion figures and allow teachers to do their job, the new Scottish president of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers told delegates to its annual conference yesterday (Thursday).

Picking up the union's familiar refrain on the breakdown of classroom discipline, Ian Clydesdale said: "Let's hear it for zero tolerance. Let's persuade headteachers to stop manipulating statistics in order to appease the PC inclusivity gurus and face up to the real issues perplexing their teachers every day in nearly every class. Let headteachers help their teachers teach."

Mr Clydesdale, a Paisley Grammar teacher, called for more support: "Each day brings us more alarming news of the problems our schools have to deal with."

The union's conference on the North Ayrshire coast heard repeated calls for tougher sanctions against pupils who make teachers' lives a misery.

But Mr Clydesdale also condemned the McCrone deal as "like your granny's soup - full of goodness, undoubtedly but don't ask what's in it, because nobody really knows, and neither does granny, nor, it seems, does Uncle Jack."

He had been inundated with telephone calls, e-mails and faxes from local negotiators trying to make sense of SNCT 14 - the paper on the removal of assistant principal and senior teacher posts.

His own authority, Renfrewshire, was already involved in a dispute over its imposed version of SNCT 14. "The pot is boiling over as angry teachers consider whether to take out grievances because they are not being given the choice of stating their career preferences as McCrone says they should."

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