Shooting the messenger

What a bizarre response from the Convenor of Fife Council’s Education Committee to the growing recruitment crisis in Fife’s schools!

The Courier (16.11.17) reports her calling on her “colleagues of all political parties to stop the relentless negative narrative which is putting people off entering the teaching profession”.

It is the duty of Ms Sinclair’s political colleagues to hold the Education Convenor to account for what is going on in Fife’s schools. Labour councillors passed on the job when they went into coalition with the SNP at Fife Council.

Shifting the blame for the lack of teachers to the “negative narrative” of the Opposition is not only shockingly insulting to would-be teachers. It also flies in the face of the evidence from the number of teachers who are dropping out of the profession, with one quarter of new teachers leaving after completing their probationary year.

Responsibility for the parlous state of Scottish education lies firmly at the door of the SNP. The ten years in which they have been in charge of schools have produced an entirely unnecessary decline in standards, conditions and morale.

Cllr Sinclair should be making sure first, that Fife is doing its absolute utmost to address the teacher shortage, and second that she leaves her political masters at Holyrood in no doubt about the urgency of addressing the problem on a national level.

Getting Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney to restore the cuts they have made to local government funding for schools, and to put some of the extra £1437 Scotland receives for every man, woman and child via the Barnett Formula into better pay and conditions for our long-suffering teachers would be a start.

If the only solution Cllr Sinclair can come up with is to ask her critics to keep quiet, perhaps it’s time she admitted defeat and let someone less hamstrung by SNP party politics look after Fife’s schools.

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