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CfE Update Feb 2010

Curriculum for Excellence Update

 


Curriculum for Excellence

Larry Flanagan, Education Committee Convener

Curriculum for Excellence has been on the go now for almost 6 years since the initial report, and, since its introduction, the EIS has been very keen to support the principles behind the programme, essentially about increased teacher professionalism, and the re-introduction of creativity and innovation into the classroom practice.

We have reached a stage where all the key policy documents have been produced by the Scottish Government and we are now very much moving into the implementation phase. Implementation brings with it a whole range of problems, not least questions of workload, of timeline and of resources.

I think if we look at the Assessment Framework, which was published only a few weeks ago, we can see there is a huge demand for CPD in order that teachers can understand the standards associated with Curriculum for Excellence and ensure that they are applying these equitably in their classrooms.

We have been very clear that the CPD demand has to be met by increased resources from Government. To simply steal money from another part of an education budget would be the wrong way to approach it. We are also clear that the timeline for implementation is extremely difficult in terms of reduced resources and pressures on teachers' workload and on class sizes.

Curriculum for Excellence is often referred to as being the most significant curriculum development of recent times, but we have to say it has actually been the least resourced, compared to Standard Grade or 5 – 14 or even the Higher Still Programme. Schools have received very little new cash into their coffers. So, if we are serious about implementing Curriculum for Excellence, then we are looking at increased resources and increased CPD provision.

At a time when local authorities are cutting budgets, then there is a very real issue there for all the EIS members to face up to. Basically, if the resources are not there, then implementation will slow down. It will even, in some cases, come to a halt.

Ultimately, Curriculum for Excellence is about improving the chances of young people in their learning in the classroom.

So, ultimately, the impact of cuts on the Curriculum for Excellence process will be that young people have to suffer and the whole point of the EIS campaign around defending education is "Why should young people suffer?”