Teacher morale ‘hits rock bottom’ under SNP

By Lucy Ashton

The morale of teachers in Scotland has plummeted to “rock bottom” under the SNP, the Scottish Parliament will be told this week.

The Scottish Conservatives will use their party business time in Holyrood tomorrow (Wednesday) to debate education and slam the SNP for continually failing to support teachers during their 15 years in power.

Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Kerr will lead the debate and highlight a number of areas in which the SNP have failed to show they are on the side of teachers.

He says the SNP’s failure to ensure long-term job security for teachers is leading to them departing schools in their droves. The Times recently reported that only one in five temporary teachers in primary schools got a permanent contract last year.

Stephen Kerr and Shirley Anne Somerville with teachers from local schools pictured above.

Stephen Kerr will also criticise the SNP’s inaction on tackling pupil violence and unruly behaviour in the classroom, after The Sunday Mail reported at the weekend that councils had recorded more than 22,000 classroom incidents, with the majority against teachers and classroom assistants.

A separate Freedom of Information Request from the Scottish Conservatives has revealed that there have been close to 75,000 physical or verbal attacks on school teachers and staff since 2017-18.

The party’s education spokesman says it is “little wonder” against this Blackboard Jungle backdrop that teachers have gone on strike for the first time in 35 years, with action this week closing schools in many local authority areas.

He will accuse SNP Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville of being “asleep at the wheel” in relation to the pay dispute with teachers and adopting a ‘we-know-best’ attitude when it comes to reforming education.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education Stephen Kerr MSP, said: “The SNP’s record on education during their 15 years in charge is dismal and should be a source of shame for ministers.

“They have continually let down youngsters from more deprived areas by failing to fulfil their promise to reduce the attainment gap.

“Scotland’s once world-leading reputation on education has been destroyed by the SNP, despite Nicola Sturgeon’s now-laughable claim that education is her number one priority.

“While pupils have been badly damaged by the SNP’s failures, their inaction and lack of support is also having a major detrimental impact on teachers themselves.

“On the SNP’s watch, job security for teachers is reducing, while ministers are failing to take a zero-tolerance approach towards the shocking number of attacks on them and classroom assistants in our schools.

“Teachers feel abandoned by this SNP Government and morale has hit rock bottom. It is little wonder that, against this backdrop, teachers have gone on strike for the first time in almost four decades in Scotland.

“Shirley-Anne Somerville has been asleep at the wheel during that dispute and was shamefully scrambling around at the last minute to try, in vain, to prevent the industrial action going ahead.

“The Scottish Conservatives are using their party business to expose how the SNP have left teachers to fend for themselves and how Scotland’s education system is completely broken on their watch. Our teachers and pupils deserve far better than the SNP continuing to preside over a decline in educational standards.” 

One comment

  1. Ach teachers think they are special, very special.

    Their predilection to complain, moan, carp is part of their culture.

    Yes, special, special, special people. Simply the best, the very best. And entitled too.

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