Parents' leaders call for clarity on exams

Confusion over Nationals 4 and 5 has to be ironed out

Parents’ leaders have called for the main players in Curriculum for Excellence to “knock their heads together” and clear up the uncertainty they feel is bedevilling the roll-out of the new National 4 and 5 exams.

“The key players are not all singing from the same hymn-sheet. Parents are getting very confused – they are stuck in the middle of this, cialis ” said Eileen Prior, ailment executive director of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council.

The main parties were currently engaged in a “power play” which left parents feeling as if they were being “tossed around in a storm”, she claimed.

There has been huge debate in recent weeks on which structural models schools should adopt, instigated largely by the EIS union. It has also led calls for all schools to have the option of delaying the new exams by a year, following East Renfrewshire’s decision not to introduce Nationals 4 and 5 until 2014-15, a year after the official starting date.

Iain Ellis, chair of the National Parent Forum of Scotland, has also called for a “clear message and a clear steer” on developments.

“When you read the press, they are all giving you different opinions,” he said.

East Renfrewshire’s plans for a year’s delay had been known for some time, he said. “If someone had made a statement months ago, we would not have had all this,” he added.

“Kids are getting anxious because they are seeing all these mixed stories.”

Mr Ellis echoed concerns raised by the EIS union that the appeals system is being changed at the same time as the new National 4 and 5 courses are being introduced, potentially leaving pupils without a safety-net.

“I don’t think a lot of parents realise the appeals system is changing – it has not been publicised,” he said.

Mr Russell told TESS there had been the “widest consultation” on the changes to the appeals system which had been “well flagged up”. Nevertheless, he was happy to listen to people who wanted to talk about how the first two years of the new qualifications would be operated.