Guidance teachers slashed by a quarter in shake-up

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THE number of principal guidance and learning support teachers is to be reduced by almost 30 in the council’s shake-up of the management structure in city secondary schools.

There are currently 130 principal guidance, learning support and behaviour support teachers. This will be reduced to 102 by August.

Principal guidance teachers will be renamed pupil support leaders, and principal learning support and behaviour support teachers will become support for learning leaders.

Of the 28 management posts being removed across the city’s 23 secondary schools, 18 positions are covered by temporary staff and ten are permanent. Four out of the ten have opted for voluntary redundancy, while the remaining six teachers have either decided to give up their principal role and become support teachers, or be demoted by the council to support teachers.

Those demoted will retain the principal teacher salary until 2016.

The city council said 18 guidance, learning support and behaviour support teachers had taken on the principal teacher roles on a temporary basis, and would now revert to their original teacher roles – and salaries.

Learning and behaviour support teachers provide extra support for pupils with additional learning needs or behavioural problems, as well as teaching.

Education spokesperson for the Greens, Councillor Melanie Main, said: “The new arrangements could leave pupil support staff having to work with up to 300 young people.”

The changes, which will be fully implemented in time for the new term starting in August, are part of attempts made by education bosses to save £2.4 million, which also involve creating a reduced number of curriculum leader posts to replace principal teacher roles.

Last year it was reported that the local authority was creating 206 curriculum leader jobs, compared with the 460 principal teacher roles held across Edinburgh’s secondary schools.

Raymond Simpson, a teacher representative on the education, children and families committee, said guidance teachers at around a third of the city’s secondary schools currently split their time between being a guidance teacher and teaching a particular subject. But he said the changes could lead to all guidance teachers taking on that role full-time. He said: “If you don’t teach your subject, it will be very hard in ten years’ time to go back to teaching it.”

City head of schools Mike Rosendale said: “The council decided last year to reduce management costs in secondary schools by reducing the number of principal teachers and bringing subjects together under curriculum leaders. This has helped us to maintain the number of frontline teachers. There have been no compulsory redundancies.”