Summary of the NASUWT's response to the McCormac Review
The McCormac Review Group must strive to improve the morale and motivation of teachers to the benefit of all children and young people in Scotland, the NASUWT believes.
The review should commit fully to the McCrone Agreement and the Union asserts that the only changes needed are ones which will strengthen and enhance the framework.
It believes that the timing of the review, coupled with the Scottish Government’s proposed changes to teachers’ terms and conditions indicate the rationale for review is financially driven.
A strong framework of national pay and conditions of service for teachers is part of the universal entitlement of all pupils and to be taught by highly-skilled professionals.
The Union’s position is that there is strong and convincing evidence that demonstrates how national frameworks for teachers’ pay and conditions are effective in delivering a system that raises standards for all pupils within schools.
Finland, which is recognised as the highest performing country globally in terms of education, has a national framework of pay and conditions of service, a comprehensive system of education and strong working relationships with trade unions.
Pay and conditions in Scotland have always been regarded elsewhere in the UK as the ‘gold standard’ to which others should aspire. The National Agreement built on the McCrone Agreement’s provisions with regard to defining what were the appropriate tasks for teachers to undertake to enable them to focus on their core role.
A national framework would allow the Scottish Government to ensure all pupils are receiving a consistently high quality of education.
The Union believes that the McCrone Agreement and the national framework of pay and conditions of service has had a clear and positive effect on standards of education in Scotland and this has been verified by international evidence.
The Scottish Government’s proposals will lead to a deterioration of the standard of education provision and the NASUWT believes the McCormac Review Group should focus on recommendations which will ensure that the aspirations of the McCrone Agreement to acknowledge and encourage excellence within the classroom are achieved fully.
The flexible, creative, learner-centred teaching profession which has always been at the core of education in Scotland should be the guiding principle of the McCormac Review and this will be secured by a commitment to the McCrone Agreement.
The uncertainty created in the last few months by the calling of the Review is having a detrimental effect on teachers, with 42% of respondents to an NASUWT survey stating they had seriously considered leaving the profession.
This is a very worrying trend and the Union urges the McCormac Review to build on the positive outcomes of McCrone.