Scores of teachers have taken up Nicola Sturgeon’s offer to write to her with concerns about education in Scotland under the SNP.
At First Minister’s Questions last month, she invited teachers to formally submit their concerns after an anonymous staff member made the headlines for saying many were scared to speak out.
Now it has emerged, following a parliamentary question by shadow education secretary Liz Smith, that 120 letters have been received since the offer on October 4.
The First Minister was responding to a question by Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who’d challenged her to reach out to unearth the extent of work pressures in schools.
Ms Sturgeon told MSPs: “I have read the letter that Ruth Davidson refers to and my message to any teacher is that nobody should feel unable to come to me or to the education secretary to raise concerns at any time. I encourage that, I have always encouraged that and I always will encourage that.”
Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary 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.
"This is supposed to be a priority area for Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP government.
"How they respond to these scores of representations will reveal just how serious they are about education."
Notes to editors:
Below is the full copy of the parliamentary question and answer:
6 November 2018
Index Heading: Education, Communities and Justice
Liz Smith (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the Scottish Government how many communications it has received from teachers in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools who have responded to the First Minister’s offer on 4 October 2018 (Official Report, c.9) to report to her any serious concerns they have about work pressures in the classroom.
John Swinney: The Scottish Government has received a total of 120 letters from teachers in response to the First Minister's offer.
It is not possible to provide a breakdown as most of the teachers have not identified which sector they work in.