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Scottish Government Must Not ‘Pass The Buck’ On Schools

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Scottish Government must not ‘pass the buck’ of reforms on to school support staff

Remodelling should serve to improve standards for everyone involved in the delivery of education says GMB

GMB Scotland has warned the Scottish Government to learn the lessons from south of the border and ensure that their schools governance plans do not detrimentally impact on the role of school support staff.

The UK government’s school workforce reforms in 2004 resulted in the removal of twenty-four tasks from teachers but served only to pass the bulk of that workload on to school support staff, with no benefit to terms and conditions.

Now GMB Scotland is urging the Cabinet Secretary for Education, John Swinney MSP, to ensure the Scottish Government’s “relentless focus” on tackling the attainment gap does not have unintended consequences for the workload of support staff in Scottish schools.

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Tony Dowling said: “Efforts to improve the quality of education and close the attainment gap are most certainly welcome but scrutiny must be applied to the impact of any proposals across all staff.

Remodelling should serve to improve standards for everyone involved in the delivery of education, from the student to the teacher and everyone else in between, including our vital school support staff, but we know austerity is biting budgets hard.

GMB has seen first-hand of the detriment suffered by support staff in England when they were effectively burdened with the tasks removed from teachers and it is crucial that the same mistakes are avoided in Scotland.

‘Passing the buck’ won’t do and the Scottish government must ensure their plans are matched by a fair-funding model that improves education standards and protects the terms and conditions of hard-working staff across the entire sector.”

Ends

Contact: Tony Dowling, GMB Scotland Senior Organiser, on 07958 477859 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 0141 352 8138

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