John Swinney warned that education reforms could be at risk

John Swinney has been warning that his flagship education reforms could be put at risk if schools do not receive enough support reports The Scotsman

The warning was made in letter from Holyrood’s education committee, which outlined concerns raised by those involved in Scottish education relating to his plans to empower schools and headteachers.

The Scottish Government has been consulting on a new Education Bill which also includes proposals to disband Scotland’s governing body for teaching.

The committee has heard from teachers, pupils and parents about what the proposed changes would mean for them. It has written to Mr Swinney setting out its findings, including calls for clarity around the new Headteachers’ Charter and the creation of an Education Workforce Council for Scotland.

The new charter would see heads handed more power over the curriculum, recruitment and budgets. However, trade unions have already criticised the move, citing increased workload pressures for school leaders. In its letter, the committee noted: “The committee heard that the capacity of headteachers and their schools to absorb additional responsibilities will, of course, not be uniform across the country and there is a potential risk to effective implementation if the correct support is not provided and the capacity of a school, or school education as a whole, to implement reforms is not assessed.”

The committee also highlighted strong views on the government’s plans to disband the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), which is responsible for registering teachers and upholding standards, and create a new Education Workforce Council. The council would take on the responsibilities of the GTCS, the Community Learning and Development Standards Council and register other education professionals. The committee stated: “The strength of opinion on this particular proposal was notable from teachers, headteachers, other affected professionals and a number of parents.”

Read more John Swinney warned that education reforms could be at risk

Are you a headteacher in Scotland, how do you feel about the new charter? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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