Cabinet Secretary announcement

Some weeks ago the Cabinet Secretary asked us for evidence of problems with the implementation of CfE. We responded by providing a catalogue of problems. It would appear that he has listened and some action has been taken.

This morning the Cabinet Secretary announced some £3.5million of additional money to fund CfE. This amounts to £1285.82 per school, or just over £9,000 if only given to secondary schools. There is no indication of how this money will be spent and we would welcome its use to allow supply staff to be employed and hard-pressed teachers to have development time. He also intends to offer schools an additional 2 in-service days. The important element of the announcement relates to the offer of course materials for N4 & 5 and of delay in the next phase of CfE:

"Course materials for the National 4 and 5 qualifications will also be developed nationally and distributed to schools, while the national body Education Scotland will carry out an audit to determine how ready schools are.

And schools will be able to consider the option of switching to the existing Intermediate qualification for pupils who are currently in second year if they are not sufficiently on track for the new exams."

Realistically this may be good news for those schools, or subjects, which currently use Intermediate courses instead of Standard Grade but surely no-one is suggesting that departments stop developing N4&5 courses, develop Intermediate courses to use for 2 years only, then return to developing N4&5 courses. The majority of schools will remain in the position of having to begin working on courses before they are properly developed.

Developed coursework for N4&5 will be welcomed by all teachers. We are concerned that this is at the 'idea' stage and it will therefore be some months before developed material is available for teachers to work with. Anyone believing that teachers can pick up a course and immediately begin teaching it knows nothing about education.

There remain a number of unaddressed issues which will continue to cause stress for teachers and pupils over the next few months. We will continue our campaign to get CfE right for all Scottish Secondary Teachers because they, and their pupils deserve no less.