SNP's Teachers Ban For Private Schools Are 'Anti-English'

Children and a teacher at the Windrush Nursery in Greenwich, south east London.
Children and a teacher at the Windrush Nursery in Greenwich, south east London.
John Stillwell/PA Archive

The SNP is planning to ban private schools from employing teachers not registered in Scotland under a new scheme decried by critics as "anti-English".

Rod Grant, headteacher of Edinburgh's Clifton Hall School, warned in a submission to MSPs that the new programme would be "a ludicrous waste of talent, ability and resource" and could stop independent schools from employing people of the talent of Stephen Hawking and Damien Hirst.

SNP plans are underway to force public schools to only recruit teachers registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). Currently around 90% of all those employed by non-state funded schools north of the border are registered with the Council, with the remaining 10% having qualified from England and other countries.

The SNP's scheme would force teachers from outside Scotland to take further tests and register with the GTCS before being able to teach in the country's private schools.

Grant said in his submission: “Many teachers within independent schools come from England or further afield. It is not possible to register these teachers with the GTCS on appointment. The effect of this would be to stop any school in Scotland from employing anyone from outside its borders,” he said, warning this would be a breach of EU law.

Grant claimed that Hawking, pictured, could be prevented from teaching Physics in a Scottish private school

“In addition, what this Bill would do would stop an independent school from employing Stephen Hawking from teaching Physics or Damien Hirst from teaching Art. That is a ludicrous waste of talent, ability and resource.

“If this Bill is ‘progress’ I for one am puzzled. I can see no justification for this change and it would appear to be politically motivated and very anti English/non-Scottish nationals.”

But a Scottish Government spokesman denied the new programme would prevent the country from attracting top teaching talent, saying: “High quality teaching and strong leadership are key features of our approach to learning in Scotland.

“The requirement for all teachers working in independent and grant aided schools to be registered through the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) will offer assurance to parents that irrespective of where their children are educated, all teachers will meet the high standards demanded by GTCS registration," they told The Telegraph.

The Sturgeon 'Selfie' Collection

Before You Go