Seriously?

The Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities, otherwise known by the acronym CoSLA, is seeking to change teachers’ conditions of service. (Not to the betterment of teachers you can be sure.)

You will be relieved to hear that this is not going to be a rant about any iniquities they are proposing – though they are many. In passing, though, I did note that a journalist on Reporting Scotland recently stated that the last big settlement in Scottish Education (the McCrone Agreement) had been a good deal for Scottish teachers. In that agreement teachers contracted hours were raised substantially but pay was not. In effect teachers got a pay cut out of that one.

However what caught my eye, and that of many others, was the CoSLA statement in their proposals that,

The primary role for a teacher should not be to teach children but should be articulated in terms of ensuring the development, well-being and safety of children.”

Eh? Run that first bit past me again.

So, how about these leaps of logic?

The primary role for a fireman should not be to fight fires.
The primary role for a doctor should not be to treat the sick.
The primary role for a dustman should not be to empty bins.

How many of these are self evident, or indeed evident under closer inspection?

Of course the development, well-being and safety of children is an important part of the nurturing process but you can have all their development, well-being and safety that you like but unless at least some of them come out the other end of the education system having actually learned something – and that requires they be taught somewhere along the way – then the whole process will be deemed a failure. (Even when that does happen – the learning that is – some people still say it’s a failure.) Moreover, the way in which said local authorities and others judge the education system is by its results; its exam results, nothing else. Nobody in the wider world gives a stuff about the development, well-being and safety of children when they can put the boot in over easy exams and high pass rates. (As if lower pass rates would gain acclaim.) Neither does anybody in these local authorities give a stuff about child development when a school is not achieving the results they expect.

The primary role for a teacher should not be to teach children.

Discuss.

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