Delegates at the Scottish Liberal Democrat autumn conference have today voted in favour of new proposals to revitalise the status, strength and resilience of the teaching profession.
Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP, who spoke in the debate, has stressed the need to remedy the “rotten deal” teachers have been landed with in recent years.
The party is in favour of McCrone 2 - an independent expert commission to review teachers' terms and the demands placed upon them. Now, the Scottish Liberal Democrat education plan includes a commitment to:
- A new “teacher premium” for schools in disadvantaged areas consisting of pay supplements designed to attract and reward the best teachers for the schools in greatest need;
- New, optional, three-year packages for probationer teachers – consisting of the current one-year probationary period plus two further guaranteed years – to help local authorities get graduates to take up posts in certain geographical areas such as the Highlands and the North East.
- New retention bonuses paid to new teachers who commit to posts in hard-to-fill areas;
- A guaranteed minimum level of support staff in every school to allow teachers to focus on the needs of each individual pupil;
- A pay rise for teachers to reflect that starting salaries are 20% lower than comparable professions;
Tavish Scott MSP commented:
“Teachers have had a rotten deal over recent years. They’ve been inundated with paperwork and diktats, lost thousands of teaching and pupil support colleagues, and been squeezed out of budgets.
“This plan shows Scottish Liberal Democrats are committing to restore the status, strength and resilience of the teaching profession.
“We’re bursting with good ideas to improve Scottish education, and the system is in sore need of them. Teachers are the backbone of Scottish education and they ought to command the pay and conditions to reflect that.
“A McCrone 2 review is the only credible way to ensure the shortcomings in their settlements are addressed.”