SSTA Position on CfE Not Changed

Dear Colleagues


You will know by now that the Management Board have recommended not to delay implementation of CfE in secondary schools after assurances from the Cabinet Secretary.

Our representative on the Board (Peter Wright) decided he had no choice but to accept the Cabinet Secretary's assurances after Michael Russell stated he was "absolutely committed to make sure the problems are solved". At its meeting on Friday 24 April Executive reaffirmed its continued demands for a delay in implementation until teacher concerns are met.

The Association will monitor events very closely over the next few weeks. We will be contacting the Cabinet Secretary's office this week with our list of priorities, all taken from the information you provided in your survey answers.

The issues highlighted in members' responses reaffirmed the view that at the very least we must see:

• The provision of a list of the core skills to be taught for every subject area, by the start of May.

• Working groups, comprising experienced classroom teachers developing core material for each subject, for completion by the end of May.

• Time given to subject departments (using supply staff to cover if necessary) to audit existing courses once the core skills have been identified.

• Financial resources in place specifically for CfE development.

• Clear and unequivocal information about course choices, especially timing of this, and exact information on the stage at which work for certificate classes will start. Where there is an element of choice this must also be clearly and unequivocally identified.

• Time for experienced teachers (perhaps in local work groups) to begin developing suitable exemplar assessment material ready for distribution in June.

Despite what the Cabinet Secretary claimed in his statement this problem is not caused by a lack of confidence among secondary teachers. It quite simply results from poor quality preparation and an unwillingness on the part of relevant national bodies to listen. Their response also indicates a very poor understanding of secondary education.

We need to see the promised action in place before the start of May to have any hope of providing the high quality education our young people deserve.

Our Congress meets on 7 May at which point progress on CfE implementation will be closely scrutinised. Your representatives will then decide how to proceed, identifying how much time to allow for solving the problems before further action is considered.

If you have the opportunity, make your views known. Your district may hold a pre-Congress meeting.

Best wishes

Ann Ballinger

General Secretary