120 teachers write to Nicola Sturgeon after being '˜free to contact her' over job concerns
More than 100 teachers have written to the Scottish Government in the month since the First Minister said they were 'free to contact her' with concerns about their jobs.
Nicola Sturgeon had called on teaching staff across the country to “come and tell the Government how you feel about your job and public services”.
Now, a Freedom of Information request from the Scottish Tories has revealed that 120 teachers have taken up that offer.
Conservative education spokeswoman Liz Smith said: “The fact so many have taken up the First Minister’s offer shows the strength of feeling among teachers right across Scotland.
“These are professionals who have taken time out of their day to express serious concerns about the state of education.”
She made the comments after Education Secretary John Swinney confirmed: “The Scottish Government has received a total of 120 letters from teachers in response to the First Minister’s offer.”
He said it was “not possible to provide a breakdown” on how many were from primary or secondary schools, as “most of the teachers have not identified which sector they work in”.
The letters were sent after the First Minister, speaking in the Scottish Parliament, made clear that “teachers should be free to contact me as First Minister, the Deputy First Minister as Education Secretary, or any member of my government”.
Ms Sturgeon said at the time: “Let me be clear to teachers that they can come and raise anything they want with the Government.”
The First Minister has repeatedly insisted that education is her government’s number one priority, appealing to voters to judge her on the success of efforts to close the attainment gap in in Scotland’s schools.
Teaching unions and opposition politicians have voiced concerns about some of the SNP’s policies, including the use of standardised testing on P1 pupils.
Ms Smith said how ministers “respond to these scores of representations will reveal just how serious they are about education”.