Why I am not renewing my TESS subscription

This week’s TES Scotland was accompanied by a separate mailing containing a flyer that in bold, red print announced ATTENTION! Action Required. The flyer went on:

AS YOU ARE AWARE, TESS SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE EVOLVING. AS PART OF THIS, YOUR CURRENT TERMS AND CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN UPDATED. THESE MUST BE ACCEPTED BY FRIDAY, 5 JUNE IN ORDER TO CONTINUE RECEIVING TESS.

I wasn’t aware, actually. Following the link to the website, there are a lot of new terms and conditions that seem to be binding me into a new contract in which I:

… agree that we at our sole discretion, without notice to you, may: (i) terminate or amend the General Terms or these Additional Terms

Er, no. Not acceptable. I will not write a blank cheque. All I want is a magazine, through my door every Friday, that I can read and throw away. I don’t want anything else, thank you, least of all an open-ended commitment to your corporate insensitivity to your customers’ needs.

Frankly, I’ve not enjoyed the changes to the TESS that have taken it from a well-staffed, relevant and useful newspaper (remember those?) to something that’s over-commercialised, London centric and off the pulse that I now merely skim and recycle. The great writers are all but gone: Douglas Blane, Liz Buie, Gregor Steele: what’s left is the best efforts of the last man standing, padded out with material from another jurisdiction. If I want to keep up with the news of what’s happening in education in Scotland, there are plenty of alternatives in the mainstream, social media and networks.

There is a real gap in the market for a regular news journal for education in Scotland. Here, there are plenty of engaged and articulate teachers, lecturers and leaders who could contribute relevant, critical commentary and shared experience for the rest to enjoy and benefit from. Anybody out there fancy taking that forward?