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Abuse of competency and disciplinary procedures is creating a climate of fear in schools, driving teachers out of the profession and affecting their health, representatives at the Annual Conference of NASUWT Scotland-The Teachers’ Union have heard today.
 
Representatives at the Conference, which is being held in Glasgow, have debated a motion highlighting the intimidation teachers are being subjected to by both the use and threat of disciplinary and competency procedures against them by senior managers.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“There can be, of course, legitimate reasons why schools may need to enact disciplinary and competency procedures against teachers. However, all too frequently we are now seeing these misused in schools as a way to bully and intimidate teachers.
 
“Competency should be used as a supportive process for teachers who may genuinely be experiencing difficulties; however, all too often this is being used as a punitive management tool to either drive teachers out of the profession or to prevent them accessing their entitlements.
 
“Our casework shows that competency is too often used or threatened when teachers challenge the failure of their school to award them their rightful pay progression.
 
“Teachers with disabilities can face threats when they ask for reasonable adjustments to support their disability.
 
“The abuse of these procedures is creating an unacceptable climate of fear in too many schools.”
 
Jane Peckham, NASUWT National Official Scotland, said:
 
“All too often when genuine problems arise with a teacher’s performance it is due to lack of support and training or inappropriate deployment, often to a subject or age group for which the teacher has not been trained.
 
“There are real issues of poor governance and management in some schools which are forcing good teachers out of the profession and depriving children and young people of experienced and specialist teachers.”

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