‘Outcome for pupils is most important’

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ANY change can prompt concern and when it happens in our schools the effects can be magnified.

Last year the News reported on plans to create new “curriculum leader” posts to replace principal teacher roles, while also reducing the number of deputy head positions by 15. The change was part of a plan to save £2.4 million.

Now, a report by Scotland’s largest teaching union, the EIS, has concluded that almost 86 per cent of curriculum leaders taking part in a survey believe the changes in management structure have disadvantaged the pupils.

It has also left some teachers feeling “demoralised and undervalued”.

And more than eight in ten curriculum leaders also said they felt the new structure had affected the progress towards the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence “for the worse”.

At the time the changes were widely criticised by parents, teachers and opposition councillors.

We already know that the challenge of pushing through the new Curriculum for Excellence for teachers are major.

The report is a sobering reminder of how difficult this whole process will be.

What the council is doing - and must continue to do - is focus primarily on the outcome for pupils, who will be the major losers if this change does not go well. Education leader Paul Godzik has made all the right noises on this.

What we cannot do is allow structural change, curriculum change or the demand for savings to disadvantage our children’s education.

Big difference

If it wasn’t so corny, it would be tempting to describe our story of how 22-year-old Peter Hart has turned his life around as Hart-warming.

Determined and resourceful, he is now one of the most valued employees of the Social Bite sandwich shop in Rose Street where he used to stand outside selling the Big Issue.

Sandwich shop boss Josh Littlejohn and the Big Issue deserve great credit for the help they have given him, but the biggest praise has to go to Peter himself for making the most of what life had thrown at him.

It is often easier to feel sorry for yourself rather than grasping life’s opportunities as Peter has now done.

Who knows what he might do next. Perhaps he’ll write a bestseller like James Bowen, who turned his experience of begging on the streets of London with his pet into the hit book A Street Cat Named Bob.