Kirkcaldy parents’ concern over children’s class arrangements

Lisa with her partner Stuart and their daughter Jo outside Dunnikier PS. Pic: FPA.
Lisa with her partner Stuart and their daughter Jo outside Dunnikier PS. Pic: FPA.
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An anxious mum believes her daughter’s class is being singled out after a turbulent year at school.

Lisa McCormack’s daughter Jo was in Primary 4 of a composite P3/4 class at Dunnikier Primary last year, which was taught through a job-share.

However, just before the autumn break, one of the teachers was signed off, and Lisa claims things became very unstable with up to six teachers from within the school being called in to cover the class.

Lisa claims work was often started but not finished, and that homework sometimes went unmarked.

She says daughter Jo’s maths and spelling were affected, while another parent, who didn’t want to be named, said her child’s motivation to complete homework tasks deteroriated, creating a very stressful home environment.

Both parents were completely dismayed to discover in the last week of term that the class would again be taught through a job-share, with a probationary teacher working four days and another teacher in class on a Friday.

After meeting with the head to discuss her concerns, Lisa collected signatures from 16 other parents which she delivered to the education department at Fife Council.

“I can’t believe it’s happened again,” said Lisa.“I know how hard teachers work and have no problem with probationary teachers, but common sense should have prevailed here and they should have been given one teacher after the muddle last year. They are the only class in the school to be under a job share.”

Gordon Wardrope, education officer, who responded to Lisa’s complaint in June, said the council was committed to delivering high quality education and that job shares can be offered to ensure it recruits and retains skilled, high quality staff.

He added: “Job shares can enhance the education offered to our pupils, and I can reassure parents and carers that our skilled staff work to ensure continuity of the pupils’ education.”