Director Clarifies Visiting Teacher Provision

Bruce Robertson, Director of Education, Culture and Sport, The Highland Council, today (Thursday) emphasised he has at no time issued instructions to schools to withdraw visiting specialist teachers from early years of primary schools (P1-3).  Indeed in many schools in Highland, specialist teachers will continue to teach in P1-3 classes.

He said:  “The McCrone Agreement requires all primary school teachers from August to teach a maximum of 22½ hours per week in front of class.

“P1-3 teachers already teach to that limit and some head teachers of our larger schools have decided to direct their additional staffing resources towards the upper stages where it is felt that best use can be made of the expertise of visiting specialist teachers.”

He also pointed out that many Councils in Scotland did not have a visiting teacher service and there were many primary school teachers in Scotland who taught the full curriculum from P1-7.

Mr Robertson said:  “The Council has employed an additional 75 teachers over the past two years in primary schools and from August will employ an additional 56 teachers.

“We also have 50 visiting teachers working across the authority area and they will continue to deliver these specialisms in a range of schools.

“New specialisms, such as sciences, technology and modern languages have been introduced to some schools across the Council area and there is every indication that head teachers are keen for this to expand.”

He said there were also 25 Active Sports co-ordinators working in primary schools, not only delivering programmes during the school day but also the summer holiday programme.

Through the TOPS sports programme, schools had also received new equipment to help promote enhanced physical activities.

Mr Robertson concluded: “Parents can be assured that, as they prepare for their summer holidays, there will be, from August, even more teachers in our schools delivering high quality education to our pupils.”


29 Jun 2006