McCormac Review: updates
Further comments and updates below - latest: 17 October 2012)
Update: 9 February 2012
"Future for teacher employment"
Commenting on the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning’s statement to the Scottish Parliament today (9 February 2012), Maureen Laing, Senior Professional Officer (Scotland) with Voice: the union for education professionals said:
“It is reassuring that the Cabinet Secretary has stated that 'Chartered Teachers and those in the process of becoming Chartered Teachers should be given credit for the work they have already undertaken'. There was a great concern that what had been achieved by Chartered Teachers would not be recognised.
“However, I am concerned that the Professional Review and Development that is to be introduced will be the responsibility of the National Partnership Group and GTCS without direct representation from the teaching unions.
“We await with interest what Education Scotland will report in relation to the current arrangements for external experts being used in schools.
“Voice hopes that the views of teachers will be an important part of this process.”
Voice press release: 13 September 2011 (updates below - 28 November 2011)
McCormac report “not as radical as expected” but a “leap in the dark” for the teaching profession
Voice: the union for education professionals, which represents teachers, education support staff and early years professionals across Scotland and the rest of the UK, has given its reaction to The Report of the Review of Teacher Employment in Scotland.
Commenting on the report, Senior Professional Officer (Scotland) Maureen Laing said:
“The McCrone agreement was supposed to be ‘a teaching profession for the 21st century’ not just for ten years.
“The title of the McCormac Review might be Advancing Professionalism in Teaching but, while it’s not as radical as expected, many teachers will see elements of it as a retreat back to the pre-McCrone days of the twentieth century.
“The report’s recommendations erode rather than advance the professionalism of teaching, throw up a number of inconsistencies, and potentially threaten the posts of many support staff.
“The teaching profession is being expected to take a leap in the dark with some of the proposals such as how non-contact time will be used and the practical implications for timetabling.
“As we said in our response to the Review, ‘there should be no erosion of the terms and conditions agreed under the McCrone Agreement, which set out parameters for the profession and recognised the necessity of non-contact time and collegiate time to provide a sound basis for effective learning and teaching to take place. There should be professional autonomy and McCrone has provided this to teachers’.
“I fear that, if adopted, some of the new proposals would erode both those terms and conditions and professional autonomy. Prescribing how teachers should carry out their non-contact duties certainly erodes their professional autonomy.
“We are very concerned about the wholesale removal of Annexes from the Teachers’ Agreement. The GTCS’s Standards (Annex B) have not yet been developed. I am concerned about too much power over the profession being concentrated in the hands of one body – in this case, the GTCS.
“Annex E is the‘list of tasks [that] should not routinely be carried out by teachers…. These tasks would generally be undertaken by support staff thereby allowing the particular skills and experience of the teacher to be deployed most effectively’. Where would its removal leave those support staff – redundant? – or the effective deployment of teachers’ skills and experiences? I fear the impact on support staff jobs. It seems more like a cost-saving exercise than an advancement of professionalism.
“On the positive side, we are delighted that the Report avoids some of the more extreme elements of COSLA’s controversial submission. We are therefore pleased with the recommendations that there should be no change to the length of the current contracted week of 35 hours or to the current 855 hours per year of class contact time.
“While we welcomed its introduction, the Chartered Teacher status has not lived up to expectations because of its focus on the academic, rather than the practical, classroom-based aspects of teaching. There should be other career paths for those teachers who do not want to move into senior management along the same lines as the medical profession.
“The measures for probationers are largely a firming up of what is already in place and, provided the safeguards remain in place, they should continue to prepare probationers for their future career.
“There are admirable proposals on Professional Review and Personal Development and Continuing Professional Development. We are particularly pleased with the recognition that ‘Other staff, within a school, who contribute to the education of pupils should be entitled to PRPD’. Classroom assistants – the ‘valuable assets’ as they were once described – deserve greater recognition.
“However, we are concerned about the availability of resources for implementing the structured programme.
“There is also a fundamental inconsistency at the heart of these particular proposals. One the one hand support staff are being offered PRPD but, on the other hand, many of their tasks may be taken away. Will they be in post to take up this professional development? Is this an attempt to look generous and supportive while saving money at the same time?”
What happens next?
Following the McCormac Report, the next stage will involve discussions on its recommendations between the Scottish Government and various stakeholders, including Voice (see below).
Ministers will then consider the recommendations in detail in conjunction with the information gathered from these discussions. It will therefore be further down the line that decisions will be taken by the Scottish Government on which recommendations are in fact to be implemented and also on how these are to be implemented in practical terms.
20 September 2011:
The Education and Culture Committee of the Scottish Parliament took evidence from stakeholders (including Alan Robertson, Vice Chairman of Voice’s Scottish Executive Committee (SEC)) affected by the Review at its meeting on 20 September 2011 (pdf agenda). The Committee will take evidence from Professor Gerry McCormac, chair of the review, at its meeting on 27 September 2011.
- Minutes of the meeting Report of the meeting (pdf)
- Holyrood TV coverage.
- Summary of meeting (Voice).
23 September 2011:
4 October 2011:
McCormac Update: 28 November 2011:
Update: May 2012:
Update: June 2012:
Update: 11 June 2012:
Report of the SNCT Joint Chairs Working Group on Chartered Teacher
At the meeting of the SNCT Joint Chairs McCormac Working Group – Chartered Teacher, the SNCT reached agreement in principle for arrangements on the pay and conditions for existing Chartered Teachers and for those who have partially completed the Standard for Chartered Teacher.
Voice Scotland is therefore pleased to have secured agreement through the mechanism of this Working Group on behalf of its members.
Final agreement on the wording was reached by the wording group, with an SNCT circular anticipated towards the end of June. With regards to exceptions to no further salary progression, the mechanism and arrangements for considering such cases will be further discussed at the next meeting of the group in the autumn.
Update: 29 June 2012:
Update 17 October 2012: Chartered Teacher Working Group:
The meeting scheduled for 8 October 2012 was cancelled.
The position outlined in the Circular of 29 June (above) is in place. Any further information which we receive will be added to the website.
The Review of Teacher Employment in
Senior Professional Officer (Scotland)
Tel: 0131 220 8241
Voice Press Office
8 September 2011: Have your say on the Review before/after publication.
19 April 2011: Voice's Official Response
24 February 2011: Call for Evidence now live
Voice will be submitting an official response on behalf of members. If you have comments to make, do let us know, or please copy us in if you are submitting your own evidence. Have your say.
The Call for Evidence will close on 21 April 2011.
15 February 2011: The Review will shortly issue a Call for Evidence.
This document will aim to gather views on key aspects of the current arrangements established by A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century. The call for evidence will ask specific questions relating to the effect of the Agreement. It is expected the call for evidence will issue in the next few weeks and Voice will post further details on this Website at that point. Have your say.
28 January 2011: McCrone deal to be reviewed
Plans for a review of the 2001 agreement on teachers’ pay and conditions, A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century, have been announced by Education Secretary Michael Russell.
The review of the 2001 agreement is to be chaired by Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Stirling University.
The McCormac Review will examine a range of issues related to teacher employment.
The Review will report with recommendations by summer 2011 with a view to the agreed recommendations being implemented from August 2012.
Voice Senior Professional Officer (Scotland) Maureen Laing said:
"Voice notes with interest the reasons given by Education Secretary Mike Russell for establishing a review of the McCrone Agreement of 2001.
"The focus is very much on the cost and size of the teacher workforce in the current financial climate rather than concentrating on delivering the best educational outcomes for children and young people.
"We look forward to having the opportunity to feed into the McCormac Review."
Tel: 0131 220 8241