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Teacher stress levels ‘phenomenally high’

Stress levels among teachers are at an all-time high, a Borders secondary school teacher has said.

Stress levels among teachers are at an all-time high, a Borders secondary school teacher has said.

A Borders teacher has claimed that he has never known stress levels among staff to be as high as they are now, because of curriculum changes.

Gavin Munro, a science teacher at Eyemouth High School, made the comment at a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s education committee last week.

Mr Munro told councillors: “There is a major issue: stress levels are phenomenally high. I’ve never seen it this bad – ­ever.”

Mr Munro said poor quality course work provided to schools did not help.

“In the case of sciences we had to rewrite the course as the science was a bit ‘whiffy’. We were to be teaching about old-fashioned televisions.”

Mr Munro added that the amount and rate of change in Scottish education in the past few years was unprecedented.

“I’m not quite sure that people outside the classroom understand what we are going through,” Mr Munro said.

At the meeting it was also revealed that at least one Borders high school will have to revert back to the ‘old’ Higher exam in one subject in May 2015.

Head of schools service, Yvonne McCracken, said: “Not every teacher is saying this, but there are a lot of loud voices saying they are not ready.

“We have only approved, so to speak, one department – a single subject – in a small school where there has been a long-term absence where we don’t feel confident – we are not confident at the progress of pupils, so we have approved them to do the old Higher.”

She added: “From a leadership point of view we have got to be strong, show courage and reassure people, but also listen to genuine situations where our young people might be at risk.”

SBC has put in place a process to deal with situations where teachers are seeking to postpone the introduction of the new Highers.

 

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