HEADTEACHERS who already spend time teaching classes will find it difficult to take on more responsibilities, ministers have been told.

The warning comes as the Scottish Government presses ahead with plans for a new Headteachers’ Charter.

The charter – part of an Education Bill to be introduced later this year – will allow school leaders to shape the curriculum, decide on how funding is allocated and choose staff.

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However, concerns have been raised in letter to the government from the Scottish Parliament’s education committee - including existing pressures on headteachers.

The education committee has taken evidence on the plans from a range of experts and held meetings with headteachers and academics in special sessions in Glasgow and Peterhead.

The letter to Education Secretary John Swinney states: “The distinct pressures of primary and secondary schools ... were clear in visits to Peterhead and Glasgow, including the impact of resources and staffing levels on the ability to introduce changes.

“For example, a point raised in sessions with both headteachers and academics was that many, particularly primary, headteachers teach on a weekly basis.

“It was unclear how more responsibilities could be managed by teachers working in these circumstances.”

The committee called for clarity around the new charter and the creation of new educational regions and plans to replace the General Teaching Scotland with a new Education Workforce Council for Scotland.

The committee said: “The strength of opinion on this particular proposal was notable from teachers, headteachers, other affected professionals and a number of parents.

“Themes included support for the GTCS model, the historically significant role the GTCS has performed in establishing teacher standards and the standards the GTCS currently sets.

“Another common observation was the value of having a professional body specifically for teachers as this guards against a diminution of the perception and status of teachers.”