McCrone teacher employment agreement to be reviewed

Plans for a review of the  agreement reached a decade ago on teacher employment were announced today by Education Secretary Michael Russell.

The review of the 2001 agreement, which followed the McCrone report into teachers’ pay and conditions, is to be chaired by Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Stirling University.

The McCormac Review will examine a range of issues related to teacher employment, including whether the agreement:

  1. is delivering all the benefits that were intended for both teachers and pupils
  2. is suited to the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence
  3. attracts the most-talented people into the teaching profession and promotes strong leadership

It will also examine the cost and size of the teacher workforce in the context of the current financial climate.

Mr Russell said:

“Ten years on from the landmark report of the McCrone Inquiry, and the agreement on pay and conditions which followed, the time is right for a fundamental review of the changes it has engineered.

“McCrone has undoubtedly delivered a well-paid, highly-qualified, professional workforce and we now have tens of thousands of talented teachers teaching hundreds of thousands of better-educated pupils.

“However a lot has changed in the past decade, most notably the introduction of Curriculum for Excellence, which provides new challenges for teachers and pupils, and we need to ensure we continue to attract the right kind of people into the profession to deliver this new approach to learning and teaching.

“Graham Donaldson’s recently-completed review of teacher education also makes a number of important recommendations for training the teachers of the future and this review of McCrone will perfectly complement the changes envisaged in the Donaldson report. I am grateful to Professor McCormac and his team for agreeing to take on this task and I am sure they will bring back clear and far-sighted recommendations.”

Professor McCormac said:

“I am very pleased to have been asked by the Cabinet Secretary to Chair this review to consider whether the current arrangements for teacher employment are delivering the best possible educational outcomes for our children and young people. The Review Group will approach this challenging piece of work with an open mind. We will consider the views of all with an interest in Scottish education and make recommendations as to how future arrangements can be improved to achieve the expected outcomes.”

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  • sawney hasbeen

    The trouble with the new media IT age is that many of us are 'on to' what is happening here. Stitch up. Has anyone been contacted over the review yet?

  • AnActualTeacher

    And just to ramp things up more here's an article in the Scottish Mail on Sunday (06/02/11) complaining about 'council fat cats' – and guess what – it's not the inflated salary / pension / golden hello & goodbye members of COSLA and SOLACE – it's … teachers! Nothing like a partisan press acting on information recieved from who knows where (but it's possible to guess). Whoever gave the press this one would have to be an 'expert' in the media to be so subtle. When's the 'independent' review that will see if this government's education policy, it's ministers, policy advisers etc are "delivering all the benefits intended for" Scotland?

  • sawney hasbeen

    Just realised!

    Turmoil in schools.

    May election!

    Long grass!

    Hot issue!


    See you all after the election!

  • glowuser

    This has already caused anxiety and lowered morale in my workplace. There have already been issues over our working agreement being breached. The fact that we are now told things will be changing so we may as well get used to it is doing nothing to raise morale.

  • sawney hasbeen

    Looks like a really non-establishment neutral panel there! Can we just get the answer now they have been asked to work back from? For the last decade Scottish Government at all levels have been crowing about how good McCrone was and how it has resulted in better retention and a more motivated work-force. Now we get the lowest common denominator approach which will result in a tripartite agreement being ripped up to decimate the profession.

    I honestly feel that all moral authority between employer and employee may be destroyed by this sham.

  • glowuser

    I hope professor McCormack feels comfortable with this role. The exercise is already tainted with the suspicion that it is simply a smokescreen for the COSLA and Government cost cutting agenda.

    If the review is to be conducted honestly the starting point ought to be the Local Authorities' signal failure over the decade to adhere to their committment to the 35hr. week. This has been largely ignored

    Teachers rightly feel let down and further exploited.

    I urge all teachers to take an active interest in their union to ensure that our legitimate interests and those of our pupils are protected.

  • AnActualTeacher

    "the time is right for a fundamental review of the changes it [McCrone] has engineered". I'm surprised MR/COSLA is even bothering being as unsubtle as this – surely it would be more honest to simply say that if teachers cannot be keel-hauled durning the SNCT negotiations then they can be dealt with through this 'review'?

    The McCrone review was internationally recognised as a model effective consultation and development. One can only assume this is why MR/COSLA has ignored it and come up this instead. The McCormac review is likely to go down in Scotland's history as further cost-cutting teacher-bashing at the behest of MR/COSLA.

    An old business management trick when you need a 'review' of personnel and you want 'downsize' is to create a review body. It's made up of a majority you know will give the answers you want, a couple of surprise members who wonder themselves why they are there, and one or two token opponents of the changes you want. A brief review of the skills, qualities and political relationships of the McCormac review would suggest MR/COSLA will get just want they want.

    It's so transparent you'd laugh, if wasn't so depressing a future.