Teachers say they’re not ready for Scotland’s new curriculum’s exams

Picture: Getty
Picture: Getty
Share this article
Have your say

SIGNIFICANT concerns remain over the implementation of Scotland’s controversial new school curriculum, according to teachers in the country’s largest local authority.

A survey of Glasgow-based members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) identified continued confusion over the introduction of the National Qualifications – part of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) – which are due to replace Standard Grades later this year.

Teachers reported a “lack of strategy and direction”, as well as a lack of consistency across schools and local authorities.

Carried out in November, the survey received responses from about 300 teachers.

Hugh Donelly, EIS secretary for Glasgow, said: “The feedback underlines the level of concern and frustration, and the lack of consistency and cohesion in taking forward the new curriculum with reference to the National Qualifications.

“There are concerns over timing, resources and the preparedness of pupils and schools in taking forward the new exams.

“The EIS was the only organisation to consistently request a delay in the introduction of the new qualifications based on the need for universal preparedness. The reason for the requesting the delay was concerns expressed by teachers regarding the lack of engagement and preparation and concerns for the impact on young people.”

The Nationals will replace Standard Grades and Intermediates when they are introduced.

East Renfrewshire Council, which has some of the country’s best-performing state schools, has said it will delay introducing the exams by a year to give teachers more time to prepare.

But the Scottish Government ruled out a similar delay for other councils, despite warnings from teachers that pupils could suffer.

The EIS survey also identified confusion over the so-called “broad general education” phase of CfE for those in S1-3. Under the new curriculum, schools are expected to move from the current model, where pupils choose subjects at the end of S2, to one where pupils do not make their choices until a year later.

The EIS said there was confusion over the broad general education phase, alongside a “narrowing of choice” for pupils.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Schools, local authorities and colleges across Scotland continue to make good progress in implementing CfE. The Scottish Government, Education Scotland and SQA have been offering assistance and support to maintain progress.”

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said the union would now carry out a wider-ranging survey of all its members.

“The survey will identify any emerging concerns regarding the implementation of the senior phase of CfE,” he said.