Response from SSTA Senior Managers’ Advisory Panel
A CONSULTATION ON THE PROVISIONS OF THE EDUCATION (SCOTLAND) BILL 2018
The full repsonse can be downloded as a PDF from here
Although we are experienced senior leaders in Scottish Education we have found it difficult to respond in full to many of the questions in this consultation because there is a lack of detail with some aspects of the proposed changes. We also believe that many of the proposed changes can be delivered through existing processes and systems. We would suggest that the legislative landscape for education and children’s services requires clarification and improved connectivity rather than the implementation of new legislative requirements. We also do not believe that the proposed changes encompass the full context of Scottish Education. For example, some changes can be much more easily delivered by a secondary head teacher with a management team and business support than the head teacher of a large, medium or small primary, a rural school or within the context of a shared headship.
The governance document fails to take into account the often complex context of schools in Scotland. Much of this consultation also focuses on the work and role of head teachers and not on the needs of children and young people. In particular there is insufficient reference or thought given to Additional Support Needs, GIRFEC, corporate parenting or the needs of other vulnerable children. If we really are to achieve a 3-18 educational system then there needs to be a whole systems approach. The proposals in this document fail to deliver such a system.
This consultation assumes that all Head Teachers will have a full understanding of every aspect of their role and all related legislation. However, for various reasons e.g. insufficient training, lack of experience or limited local authority support, this is not true for many Head Teachers. In order to address this many Head Teachers will face increased bureaucracy which in turn will weaken their role as leaders of learning. Head Teachers currently rely on considerable support from local authorities such as HR, Finance, Property, Legal & Admin’ etc. Perhaps an unforeseen consequence would be the increased bureaucracy faced by Head Teachers as they have to spend increased time on these non-teaching functions further weakening their role as leaders of learning.