March 2012

A major survey of Scotland’s secondary school teachers has raised serious concerns regarding the implementation of the new National qualifications. 

Over 2700 respondents from a random sample of 10,000 EIS members in the secondary sector responded to the online survey in just two weeks – a very high rate of return, which displays the depth of concern teachers have regarding the support for CfE in schools.

Amongst the key findings in the survey are:

  • Over 90% of respondents feel that the senior phase (years 4-6) implementation of CfE has increased their workload over the past year.
  • Almost 80% feel that their workload increase has been "very high” or "high”.
  • Well over 90% of respondents believe that additional resources will be required to implement the senior phase of CfE in their school.
  • More than 85% of respondents believe that more additional in-service training will be required to support CfE senior phase implementation.
  • Only 3% of respondents are "fully confident” that their department will be able to deliver the new National qualifications from next year, and less than 5% are "very confident”.
  • By contrast, over 70% of respondents are "barely confident” or "not confident at all” of their department’s readiness to deliver the new qualifications on the current timescale.
  • Teachers also displayed very high levels of dissatisfaction regarding the level of information / support provided to support their work in developing CfE senior phase.
  • Over 80% of respondents rated Scottish Government support as "unsatisfactory”.

Commenting on the survey results, General Secretary Larry Flanagan, said,

"This is the largest CfE survey of Scottish secondary teachers that has been carried out to date, and it paints a very clear picture of teachers’ concerns over the implementation of the senior phase of CfE.

"The overwhelming message from Scotland’s secondary teachers is that currently they do not feel confident regarding their school’s state of readiness to deliver the senior phase of CfE, particularly the new National qualifications, on the current timetable."

Mr Flanagan continued, "The EIS has consistently called for more resources to deliver CfE development, including more time for teachers to work on implementation. 

On the vital issue of the new National qualifications, the EIS has long argued that the current timetable for their introduction is too ambitious and that a one-year delay, or at the very least a school option for a one year delay, should be agreed to allow all teachers the time to become comfortable with the detail of the new exams.”

He added, "Curriculum for Excellence is important and we wish to see it succeed but the results from the EIS survey clearly show more resources, and more time, are needed to support implementation.

"The Scottish Government must heed the warnings of secondary teachers on the timetable and agree to a comprehensive package of additional resources to support schools, including allowing schools to exercise a one-year delay where it is required.

"We are engaged in on-going discussions with the Scottish Government and are hopeful of a positive response to the survey findings.”

• Summary of survey responses for information

• A sample of teachers’ additional comments  for information