Big Changes Ahead for Dundee Teachers and Schools - How Will These Help To Deliver Enhanced Pupil Attainment?

Education Conveners from local councils up and down Scotland have recently been meeting Mike Russell, the Cabinet Secretary for Education at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities in Edinburgh. They reportedly agreed to abandon many aspects of the terms and conditions of work of our teachers that were established following recommendations made in the McCrone Report.

Changes apparently supported by Convener of Education Liz Fordyce include:
  • increasing contact time with pupils by reducing paid preparation and marking time;

  • increasing the number of rungs on the salary scale so that teachers take many more years to reach the same top point of their salary scale;

  • reducing the rate of pay for supply teaching and

  • abandoning the Chartered Teacher programme.

At a local level, Councillor Fordyce and her SNP colleagues are also planning to close smaller primary schools and reorganise the management of the Education Department with other services. Since the number of pupils in a single class are protected by legal limits, they plan to focus on reducing teaching posts outside the classroom but which currently enrich the curriculum and support teaching and learning.

What impact does Councillor Fordyce think these changes will have on education service she is responsible for?

How will she maintain the steady rise in SQA examination results achieved in recent years following the introduction of the 'Learning Together in Dundee' initiative and a new management structure in the Education Department to facilitate this?

How will she ensure that the impact of these changes will not fall disproportionately on pupils from disadvantaged households already under-performing according to the analysis in the recently published 'Better Odds at School' report from Save the Children Scotland?