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Unfilled vacancies

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by braemar, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    It's... more complicated than that. You can't be awarded a permanent contract as a teacher of a subject you're not registered in. That doesn't stop you teaching it (that's at the discretion of your headie). Likewise if you are teaching it you can have your teaching signed off by your head when you submit you application for registration without any particular fuss being made of how many hours you have under your belt. In this vein a former colleague of mine was part time permanent in their main subject and had rolling temporary contracts for the other subject because they didn't have full registration. Meanwhile I began teaching my second subject without any registration because my employment is solely in my first subject. The GTCS wall is not as solid as many think.
    Marisha and bigjimmy2 like this.
  2. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    I have a friend who retired from secondary teaching in Scotland but continued to take on supply work. On one occasion, he was offered long term supply cover teaching a subject in which he himself didn't have even so much as an O Level certificate.

    It didn't apparently bother the head teacher, however, because he could maintain class discipline, worksheets were provided and he was only teaching S1 and S2 classes. So much for GTCS standards.

    At the same time, I've known a number of experienced primary head teachers lose their jobs despite the fact that they were managing successful, and popular, schools where pupils experienced a broad and balanced curriculum and performed well above the local, and national, average in terms of literacy and numeracy.

    What was their crime?

    LA QIOs, Area Managers and the School Inspectorate colluded together, in secret, to decide that they lacked the necessary 'leadership skills' for today's Scottish Education System. In short, the head teachers in question valued and supported their staff, focused on work that truly benefited the pupils' learning and welfare and avoided pointless, box-ticking bureaucracy.

    Unfortunately, what the LAs and School Inspectorate wanted was for staff to be kept under constant scrutiny with many, often, unattainable targets and an atmosphere of rigorous accountability and job insecurity. Removing the head teacher from post reinforced their determination to ensure compliance with the state theory of learning but, at the same time, left parents wondering why a change of head teacher was deemed to be productive or even sensible. They were even more confused when the LAs failed to recruit replacement head teachers and had to rely on a succession of acting appointments for almost two years. There was certainly no noticeable improvement in the education the pupils received and a great deal of uncertainty and disruption.

    Now in case anyone is thinking: 'There is no way they could dismiss a primary head teacher for that; they'd never get away with it', I can assure you, they can and they do.

    Unfortunately, winning maximum damages for wrongful dismissal at an employment tribunal, does not get you your job back and the sort of compensation on offer in no way makes up for being unfairly made redundant in your early 50s, still a long way off normal retirement age.

    In addition, LAs can be extremely vindictive towards an employee who has dared to embarrass them by winning a case at an employment tribunal and will take every step to try to prevent them from ever working in a school again.

    And what you may ask do the unions do to protect the wronged employee? In a word - nothing. When was the last time, if ever, that a union took a LA to court for such disgraceful behaviour and contempt for employment law? I can't remember.

    As I've said before, the School Inspectorate should hang their collective heads in shame for what they have done to the Education System and the future prospects of children and young people in Scotland.
    sicilypat and bigjimmy2 like this.
  3. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    teaching science for 25 years in London, it is normal for a science department to be carrying long term vacancies.
  4. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    I'd imagine teachers teaching a subject they are not registered in, is a union matter as well as a GTCS matter.

    Yes of course we have supply and cover teachers and non-permanent staff, but a non-subject specialist being timetabled for a class long term is plainly wrong.

    This should be taken up with the unions and the GTCS.
  5. cobalt54

    cobalt54 New commenter

    In my experience the GTC and the Local Authorities work in cahoots on this matter, in order to sweep it under the carpet. In the past the problem subjects were Physics and Mathematics and probably still are.

    Some years ago a teacher I knew was able to discover that the GTC, by registering a departmental colleague in his subject, had clearly breached their own guidelines. The wrongly registered teacher in question was quite happy to masquerade in that role and since the perverse verdict of the GTC committee was considered as something sacrosanct, rather like a jury verdict in a criminal case, that was the end of the matter. He could not afford a judicial review, and his teacher union was not interested in highlighting the problem

    Complaining to the GTC about unqualified teachers is akin to complaining to the Tory Party about tax havens.
    Effinbankers likes this.
  6. Marisha

    Marisha Established commenter

    As a middle manager, I once contacted my union over the fact that my head had employed (on a longterm supply basis a couple of retirees. One of them was not qualified to teach the subject and neither was particularly interested (understandably) in contributing to the department development work.

    Then there was the added problem of getting us through verification in the early days of Nat 4/5.

    I was told that it was not for me to question who my head put in front of a class - if the head had hired someone, then I had to assume that they were qualified to do the job. Of course, this then became a workload issue for me.
  7. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    You had to assume f_ck all, M. I would have let my union know that there was possibly an unqualified teacher on the go and let them deal with it, unions presumably knowing what to do in these circumstances. What an attitude from "management", eh?
    Marisha likes this.
  8. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    The GTCS is watering down the standards yearly.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  9. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I disagree.

    Government refusal to fund schools properly makes watering down standards unavoidable. Schools cannot afford to attract teachers so schools will take anybody willing to stand in front of a class and deliver maths, computing and the like.

    If teaching was an attractive job, there would be no shortage of teachers.
    mrwatt1 and EmmaCT68 like this.
  10. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Dare I suggest that the government and the GCTS are both watering down standards?
    mrwatt1 likes this.
  11. sbf

    sbf New commenter

    Spot on there.
    mrwatt1 likes this.
  12. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Are there any teachers to be attracted?
    mrwatt1 and bigjimmy2 like this.
  13. heldon

    heldon Occasional commenter

    I left aged 56.
    If the conditions and pay were better I might have worked on.
    How many others out there like me?
    Marisha, bigjimmy2 and mrwatt1 like this.
  14. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Good for you, heldon. It's not "teaching" any more.
    EmmaCT68 likes this.
  15. sbf

    sbf New commenter

    Funny the majority I see retire are back on supply 7 weeks later!

    Some departments are being run entirely by retired staff.

    I think in a few years there may be some bigger issues.
    gem_stew likes this.
  16. heldon

    heldon Occasional commenter

    I would not step foot back in a classroom. Life is exquisite away from the stress of the classroom. I really enjoyed my job until CFE, then the 1%difficult problem kids became 10% and I had to go for my sanity. I was good at my job, by the way!
    Marisha, sbf, EmmaT1982 and 3 others like this.
  17. sbf

    sbf New commenter

    The cynical person in me would think that the whole CfE thing was engineered deliberately to push older teachers out and give everyone a headache for no particular reason. All about taking back control.

    But i'm not sure that the government are that smart!

    The thing that says it all to me is that I would steer any pupil away from teaching into another career option, any other option. And that's a sad state of affairs and something that's slowly driving down the numbers too.

    The number of teachers that are between 45-55 and are just hanging on is sad.
  18. Gavster77

    Gavster77 Occasional commenter

    There are even "no appointment" re-advertisements of posts that cannot be tolerated in LAs any longer.
    All down to a cultish obsession with candidates reciting HGIOS at interview whichneeds to end. Interviews pivot on these with experience being completely disregarded. How many good candidates do we need to see deterred? How many useless but successful ones must be suffered?
  19. sbf

    sbf New commenter

    Almost feels like a whole generation of teachers are being put on the scrap heap. 40 to 50 year olds head not apply. Let’s get 30 year old deputes all in place.
  20. Marisha

    Marisha Established commenter

    The union attitude see
    I did inform the union, and they just told me that staffing was up to the head. :(.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.

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