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.

CfE Audit

Earlier this month the Cabinet Secretary instructed his officials to undertake a ‘deep audit' of readiness to implement the third year of CfE. The audit was his response to the evidence provided by teachers of the work required to prepare properly for S3 of CfE. This audit is currently underway and members may well have been or will be asked to participate in the evidence gathering exercise.

New Exam Information

Dear Colleagues

SQA have indicated that they will publish Course Rationale and Summary documents for National 4 and National 5 this morning (Monday 31.01.11). These draft documents will be made available on the SQA website (

There is a very short consultation period, 2 months, and the Association will be asked for immediate responses to the document.

If you have time in your busy schedule to look at the rationale for your subject a short (or long) comment sent to (adding SQA comments to the subject line) would be greatly appreciated. These will form the basis of both the Associations initial and later, full response. Detailed comments sent during February and March will also be particularly welcome.

With best wishes

Yours sincerely

Ann Ballinger

General Secretary

SSTA responds to Cabinet Secretary's bullying


You may have noted from newspaper reports that the Scottish Government has threatened to remove the Association from the Management Board if we consult members on the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence.

It has also been suggested that at a time of financial difficulties we should be concentrating on protecting salaries and pensions.   I would simply ask what, in a time of recession, could be more important than the education of future generations.  

Executive meets on 1 Oct and Council on 2 Oct when this ultimatum will be debated and a decision made.    

In the meantime I wish to assure you that this Association will always strive to advance secondary education in Scotland, and to safeguard and promote the interests of Scottish secondary teachers in all matters.

Indicative Ballot on Industrial Action but not Strike Action

Indicative Ballot on Industrial Action but not Strike Action: Closing Date 25 June 2010

The Association has had a series of meetings with the Cabinet Secretary over the last few months to explain our concerns over the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence. At every stage we have been clear about what teachers need to successfully implement the new curriculum. With less than two weeks left of this term little progress has been made and huge concerns remain. An indicative ballot is the first stage in our balloting procedure. A full postal ballot on industrial action would follow if the indicative ballot shows the required support. In order to speed the balloting process members are asked to use the electronic response mechanism where possible. Executive request that you take a few minutes to express your opinion on the need for industrial action (short of strike action) in order to force the Scottish Government to provide:
  • Detailed guidance from the subject excellence groups to enable teachers to plan effective courses.
  • Clear information regarding assessment and moderation during the early years of secondary.
  • Adequate and relevant assessment materials externally produced where required.
  • Clear guidance on the mechanisms and criteria to be used in reporting to parents of pupils in the early years of secondary.
  • A full review of the National Qualification proposals, taking into account the views of teachers, parents and employers. The SSTA believes that the current proposal for wholly internal assessment at the new level 4 is divisive and detrimental to the future of those pupils assessed   at Level 4.
  • Unambiguous statement that the point at which pupils will begin working towards national qualifications (the middle phase of secondary education) is the start of S3.
  • An indefinite delay on the implementation of the profiling proposals.
It is absolutely essential that all members in the state sector vote in the indicative ballot. Members are aware of the damage that current proposals will cause to our education system. Teachers must act: they must act now.

Vote YES! Tell the Scottish Government that SSTA members are not prepared to gamble with the future of tens of thousands of young Scottish citizens.

You can cast your vote in the ballot by visiting and completing the form. The ballot closes at 4pm on the 25 June 2010.

Yours sincerely

Ann Ballinger

General Secretary

SQA Subject Working Groups










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Subject Working Groups - Have Your Say

Work to develop the new national qualifications, which will support Curriculum for Excellence, is well underway and stakeholders have the opportunity to be directly involved in the qualifications development process.

SQA is setting up Subject Working Groups (SWGs) in subject areas to participate in the development of the products for the new qualifications and is looking for teaching professionals to assist in this work.

SWGs will be established from summer 2010 to carry out discrete pieces of work, for example, the rationale and course summary, Unit specification or Unit support packs for a particular subject area.  They will be directed by the relevant Qualifications Design Teams (QDTs) who are working on the design of qualifications within individual subjects.

If you or your colleagues are interested in helping to develop the next generation of National Qualifications, submit a ‘Register of Interest' form available on the SQA website.