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News Release

Teachers' views on CfE cannot be ignored, says EIS

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) has called on the Scottish Government to heed the warnings from Scotland's teachers on the need for support for teachers on the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence. Teachers across Scotland have recently expressed their concerns on issues regarding implementation, including the timetable for the introduction of new qualifications, in their response to a major survey on the Curriculum for Excellence. The EIS supports the introduction of CfE, but has serious concerns over issues such as resources, CPD and the timetable for the introduction of the associated new qualifications in 2013/14.

Commenting in advance of an EIS organised Conference for Headteachers and other senior promoted school staff, EIS Education Convener Larry Flanagan said:

The CfE Management Board met last week to discuss advice to the Cabinet Secretary on the implementation CfE. The EIS remains committed to the aims of the CfE programme. However, the evidence from the Management Board's Survey of Teachers, supported by the EIS, demonstrates clearly the collective view of teachers that much more needs to be done to support the implementation process. In particular, the EIS continues to argue for a delay in implementing the new qualifications, scheduled for 2014.”

Mr. Flanagan added, "14,932 teachers took time out to respond to the survey, 24% of the teacher workforce which, for surveys of this type, is a high response. In response to the question on confidence about having ‘sufficient information and support to plan for delivery of courses leading to the new National 4 and 6 qualifications', 72% of secondary teachers replied ‘not confident at all' with only 4% being ‘confident'; 2 out of 3 Headteachers replied ‘not confident at all'; and yet the timetable rolls on unhindered.”

Mr Flanagan continued, "The EIS is clear that our call for a delay to the qualifications timetable enjoys massive support in secondary schools and we will continue to press that case with the Scottish Government. A delay would allow schools more time to embed the learning and teaching aspects of CfE which are central to the key aims of the programme.”

He added, "The feedback we are receiving is that Secondary teachers are not confident about their state of readiness; attempts at quick-fix solutions will simply come unstuck. To ignore the collective voice of teachers on this issue could cause lasting damage to the programme's aims.”

Mr. Flanagan concluded, "The EIS is keen to work constructively with the Cabinet Secretary to address the concerns of teachers and we welcome his offer of further discussions.”

The EIS Headteacher Conference, held today (Friday) in Edinburgh, will feature a number of prominent speakers in addition to Mr Flanagan.

Speakers include:

  • Mike Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning
  • Helen Connor, EIS President
  • Bill Maxwell (Her Majesty's Senior Chief Inspector)
  • Bernard McLeary (Chief Executive - Learning and Teaching Scotland)
  • Dr Janet Brown (Chief Executive - Scottish Qualifications Authority)
  • Larry Flanagan, EIS Education Convener

Curriculum for Excellence Management Board Survey of Teachers (pdf file)


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