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Worked to the bone

THE McCrone committee recommendations fall seriously short of the mark. For example, despite acknowledging that excessive teacher workload is one of the biggest problems in Scottish education, the committee is recommending increasing that workload.

Currently teachers are contracted to work 27.5 hours a week in school and a further 7.5 hours a week at a time and place of their own choosing doing preparation and correction work. This is almost universally recognised as insufficient time to complete these required core tasks.

The McCrone committee, however, wants to cut the 7.5 hours to 2.5, and instead allocate the remaining five hours a eek to "a range of collective activities to contribute to the wider life of the school". In other words, teachers will lose up to five hours of preparation and correction time in order to staff the Government's social inclusion policies etc.

However, existing preparation and correction work will not go away. One can only assume that teachers will be expected to continue to do this unacknowledged, at home. And all this for less than pound;3,000 of a staged pay rise for the 18,000 teachers at the top of the unpromoted pay scale.

Maureen Watson

Executive Council

Educational Institute of Scotland

Hotspur Street, Glasgow

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