It’s a disgrace alright; the endless ‘weaponising’ of teachers

The Herald’s longest running series ‘Nicola takes our schools to hell and back‘, has moved on from weekly demands to get jagged before other occupations, to delay the return of the weanbairns and now to claims some are being driven away by unstable and uncertain employment conditions.

Teachers, insecure employment? I’m hard pushed to think of a profession more secure where so few have to leave because they’ve failed in some way. The EIS is the NUM of the 21st Century.

Anyhow, it seems they’re being driven way. Dare I ask what the evidence is? Ah, obviously, there will be masses of unfilled vacancies.

Let’s see:

Advertised vacancies for permanent primary teacher roles have dropped by more than half since last year, from 204 to 88, according to new data.


The total number of full time equivalent teachers has risen to its highest figure since 2008, official statistics confirm. New figures have revealed that there were 53,400 teachers employed in early learning and childcare, primary, secondary and special schools or centrally employed.

This is 1,153 more than the 2019 total (52,247). Average class size in primary schools fell to their smallest since 2012, down to 23.1 from 23.5 in 2019. The 2020 pupil teacher ratio for all publicly funded schools was 13.3, an improvement on 2019 when it was 13.6.

The ratio in Primary schools is now 15.4 pupils to 1 teacher and in Secondary schools, 12.5 to 1.

In England:

In state-funded primary schools, the PTR has remained at 20.9 in both 2018 and 2019 despite a continued increased in pupil numbers.

In state-funded secondary schools, the PTR has risen from 16.3 in 2018 to 16.6 in 2019, continuing the trend of year-on-year increases seen since 2012.

Dear Herald Education Correspondent,

I’m a long-retired teacher educator on a pension. Why don’t I get a disability allowance for the short temper I’ve developed?

9 thoughts on “It’s a disgrace alright; the endless ‘weaponising’ of teachers

  1. All easy to explain
    Only mad dogs bark at the moon then await a positive response
    Then when none Yap again


  2. I heard such comments from some colleagues when I entered teaching in 1979 and heard the same ones when I left in 2009 and at some time during every day in between. There was never any evidence put forward other than ‘everybody knows’. A counter example is met with, ‘if you believe that you will believe anything’, or the usual, ‘Ah, but… ‘ to change the subject and make another baseless assertion.

    And of course the media publish these unquestioningly whenever the want to attack public education, the Council, the SG, signs of increased attainment, achievement, etc in the non private schools. Whenever accountability is raised teachers play the blackboard jungle card.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Herald is a joke
    Media laws in UK allow newspapers to print lies without exception and they do.
    Occasionally someone takes them to court and usually they win but the puishment is less than the profit so they continue to do it.

    So appreciated that you challenge them Mr Robertson
    You are so good at doing it too
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scotland is not allowed to have their own independent broadcasting platform, so is at the mercy of the English government controlled so called BBC. The media so called, in the UK and their bestie pals abroad, are 100% anti SNP, and the SNP can do sweet FA about it.

      The EngGov in making sure they kept a tight hold of broadcasting in Scotland knew exactly what they were doing. They pull the strings and control the narrative, it’s surely one major reason why the so called union is absurd, a fitting word for the situation that Scotland has been in for a very very long time.

      I have copied that word, absurd, from this short film by Jamie Jauncey, part4. I hope it’s Ok to share…


  4. On the matter of increasing Pupil Teacher Ratio in England, I noted this additional bit of information in the linked document:

    “Pupil to teacher ratio (Qualified AND unqualified teachers) within-schools” (my emphasis)

    Examine the Full Time Equivalent statistics provided for the workforce, in 2019 there were 22,669 unqualified staff employed as teachers in state schools in England, 5% of the teaching staff.

    The General Teaching Council for Scotland and others successfully lobbied for an amendment to the UK Internal Market Bill which means the teaching profession and teaching services will be excluded from the provisions of the Act. To that point, the Bill unamended would have forced the GTC to accept for registration in Scotland unqualified teachers and so change the status of this long-standing, all graduate profession in Scotland.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. John , you might want to pass these figures on to the doom and gloom ‘leader’ of the EIS ,Mr Flanagan – but then he probably knows these already , or should do !
    He is the usual ‘rent-a-quote ‘ for the unionist media when it comes to Education , especially when the Labour Party might benefit from a little ‘SNPBAD !


  6. The Press are at it again attacking the education system. It is an absolute disgrace.
    Scotland has the best education system in the world by far.

    The highest no of university places (pro rata). More people go to uni than anywhere else in the world (pro rata) 30% from school. 20/25 mature students. 15% EU students. + foreign students. The highest in the world. 70%. Next is Canada 56%. Vulnerable students get help and extra payments. Grants and loans.

    Additional learning support. Additional payments for additional needs. Payment and educational support for those in state/foster care. Kinship payments. Keeping children in families. Student support. Nursery provision expanded. Extra funds for deprived areas educational support.

    Colleges and apprenticeships. 15 unis pop 5.5million. Pro rata the highest in the world. Life long learning.

    It could be even better without Westminster poor, bad decision. Taking Scotland’s revenues and resources. Wasting them. Illegal wars, Trident, tax evasion, repayment on loans not borrowed or spent. Increased military redundant weaponry. Hickley Point, HS2 etc. Total waste with better alternatives. All costing Scotland too much, which could be spent on education and esssential,services.

    There is a need to keep class sizes down. The Council poor organisation can keep higher. They use the statuary limit (30) to keep class size nos higher. Lower the limit they would have to comply, There are class room assistants.

    Teachers are better qualified and more highly paid. Most of them are really dedicated. Schools are really happy places on the whole. Bright and cheerful unlike how they were in the day. Straps and punishment on display. There are counsellors within the schools now to help out children with any problems. There is too much paper work recording. Computers do help. The Scottish Gov is going to give all pupils electronic devises. A gigantic help.

    The Council used to cut the education budgets at times of cuts or balances. It seemed to be the easiest target. Just cut away. Now the Scottish Gov ring fences funds so it has to go to Education.

    Labour were mean testing student loans. Pupils of households of average earning could not get a full loan to go to university. They could not go straight from school. That has changed. The figures will be working through. There is no attainment gap. Scotland has the highest no of uni places in the world. (Pro rata). Colleges and apprenticeships. People still learning on the job. Part time courses. The best education system in the world. There still could be improvements which will happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. uni % on different systems (approx)

    Canada 56%, Japan 50%, Israel 49%, Korea (South?) 46% (half of the pupils leave before 16), UK 45%, US 45% (33% at Batchelor), Finland 43%, Norway 43%,Luxembourg 42%.


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