Fresh boost for curriculum Additional support announced for teachers to deliver new courses

£3.5 million investment for schools announced to support teachers to deliver new qualifications.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, stuff Michael Russell will visit St. Augustine’s RC High School with Louise Wilson, site Assistant Secretary of Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) and Tina Woolnough of the National Parent Forum Scotland (NPFS).

The visit coincides with confirmation that agreement has been reached with EIS on a package of support for teachers to ensure that delivery of new qualifications under Curriculum for Excellence remains on track.

The package of support includes:

  • Additional funding of £3.5 million for secondary schools for additional training and support materials where these are required.
  • Two extra in service days for secondary schools to allow teachers additional time to prepare for new qualifications.
  • An expanded programme of SQA events for every principal subject teacher.
  • Education Scotland and SQA will work with teachers to develop national course materials. These materials will enable teachers to then tailor their teaching for the needs of their pupils.

Mr Russell said:

“We have been listening to the concerns of teachers over the past few weeks and I thank the EIS for their positive contribution to our discussions. This package of measures aims to help ease the workload of teachers as they prepare new courses for the school year ahead.

“Education Scotland is reviewing the state of readiness to introduce new qualifications in secondary schools across Scotland. This review will identify precisely where any of the additional help and support announced today is most needed.

“We want to improve the life chances of all our children and young people and it is vitally important that we remain on track with Curriculum for Excellence for the 54,000 pupils currently in S2 and deliver new qualifications on time. I want to reassure pupils and parents that we continue on course.”

Incoming General Secretary of EIS, Larry Flanagan said:

“EIS welcomes this agreement as a successful conclusion to the detailed discussions of the last few weeks. The Cabinet Secretary has listened to the arguments presented. The detailed package represents a significant and measurable investment in the senior phase of CfE, which should allow schools to progress towards National 4 and 5 in 2013/1 4.

“The provision of course materials in all subject areas for the new National 4 and 5 qualifications directly responds to concerns over unmanageable workload and will be very welcome in schools. Taken together with the other measures, the package as a whole is a major step forward.

“We welcome the recognition that the audit being undertaken by Education Scotland should facilitate the professional input of school staff and that where further additional support is identified as being needed there is a commitment to respond to such requests.

“The framework agreed allows for schools to make clear and informed decisions which will help reassure parents and pupils that their best interests are being served and which also take forward implementation of CfE.”

Iain Ellis Chair of NPFS said:

“The National Parent Forum of Scotland is pleased that additional resources have been made available to support Curriculum for Excellence, particularly in this challenging economic climate. We hope that schools and teachers will take full advantage of these new resources and will continue with their implementation of Curriculum for Excellence.

“We anticipate that this enhanced support will ensure that implementation of the curriculum is ambitious and creative, and is focussed on delivering excellent learning experiences and outcomes for all of our children.”

Background

The support package will respond to teachers’ concerns on workload. It focuses on securing more time for teachers to implement a Broad General Education for the current S2 cohort as it moves into S3 and to prepare for this group’s progression towards the new national qualifications in S4.

Full details are as follows:

Two additional in service days will be allocated for secondary schools for this purpose.

New and additional financial support will be allocated to schools for support materials relating to the new National 4 and 5 qualifications and potentially to facilitate additional supply cover being brought in to release classroom teachers for development activity aimed at preparing for the new courses. This will support schools, and possibly school clusters, to prioritise peer learning and development.

Course materials for the new National 4 and 5 qualifications will be developed nationally and distributed to schools well in advance of the commencement of the new qualifications in 2013/14. This is aimed primarily at reducing the workload implications of schools having to prepare new course materials.

SQA will expand its support programme to ensure every principal subject teacher can attend relevant CPD events.

Contact

Mark Dunlop :  0131 244 3070 / 07920 595 449