The TES is reporting that a Scottish teaching union has come up with a radical solution to reduce staffing shortages: make teachers work longer.
An increase in weekly contracted hours from 35 to 37.5, if accompanied by a proportional pay rise of just over 7 per cent, could solve three crises at a stroke, believes Greg Dempster, general secretary of AHDS, which represents primary-school leaders.
He says that Scottish schools are suffering from: a lack of core teachers and supply staff; the knock-on impact on development time for school leaders; and “the fact that no one has had a decent pay rise for years”.
Teachers already tend to work “far longer than their contracted hours”, he said, but his idea is “unlikely to add quite as much to actual hours undertaken” and would boost salaries and pensions.
Teachers who cover non-class contact time – allowing other teachers to prepare lessons and pursue CPD – could be “displaced”, said Mr Dempster. But, he added, that would result in a boost for Scotland’s much-depleted pool of supply teachers, and free up such staff to apply for roles created in some local authorities by the government’s Scottish Attainment Challenge scheme..
But the EIS, Scotland’s largest teaching union, has reacted angrily and described the idea as “incredible”…
Mr Dempster’s core idea is to do away with non-class contact time and increase teachers contracted hours from 35 to 37.5 hours, removing the need to extra staff to cover non-contact time and using the savings to pay teachers more.
Is it a “deeply worrying proposal ” as the EIS suggests or might it be a way of easing the recruitment crisis while paying existing teachers more?
Please give us your reactions and feedback in the comments or via Twitter…
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