As Scots reject free schools and head teacher control, poll does show backing for redistribution in education
ONLY 14 per cent of Scots in a new Times/YouGov poll think that head teachers should have more control or “the most power” in Scottish schools.
In the same survey Scots emphatically rejected “free schools” where communities reputedly take over management of state-funded schools, a model similar to reforms in England. However, a majority were found in favour of redistributive measures being used to boost education among lower income family students.
The Scottish Government suggested it would need more time to persuade people of its education reforms. Greater decision making “at school level” was a part of its current school review.
In response to the survey, a government spokesperson said: “This poll suggests that we need to do more to engage families and communities with a vision of empowerment and devolution and to make sure that we assure them that our reforms will be based on evidence of what works.”
Despite there being opposition from teaching unions to some of the Scottish Government’s education reforms, the statement added: “We want to hear views from teachers and head teachers – as well as children, young people and their parents – as part of a positive debate about how schools should be run.”
In the Times/YouGov poll, 49 per cent of respondents said they wanted Holyrood to have the most power over running schools in Scotland. 21 per cent said that local councils should have a majority of control.
Forty two per cent of those asked said students from higher income homes should be charged tuition fees and the money used to pay for the university costs of children from worse-off families.
During this week, the Scottish Government has come under fire from opposition parties for what has been termed “ a drastic decline” in the state of education in Scotland in the past decade. According to the latest Programme for International Students Assessment (Pisa) results, Scotland’s performance in science and reading has fallen to average since 2012 from being previously rated by the OECD as higher than average.
Opposition parties such as the Scotti Liberal Democrats and Scottish Labour criticised the Pisa findings as an example of “SNP failure and complacency” however, the Greens chose to focus on urging greater investment at local level.
Picture courtesy of SG
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