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Created: 07 September 2016 | Last Updated: 09 July 2016 | Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version | Make Text Smaller Make Text Larger |

Government Commitment to Education Welcome - But Challenges Remain

Tuesday 6 September 

The EIS has welcomed the focus on Scottish education outlined in the Programme for Government statement by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament today, whilst cautioning that significant challenges remain.

In particular the EIS shares the Scottish Government’s commitment to raising attainment - with an emphasis on reducing the impact of poverty on young people’s educational experience and life chances.

Commenting following the First Minister’s announcement, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "There are positive elements for education in the new Programme for Government announced today which teachers will welcome, particularly the Scottish Government’s commitment to investing in education and seeking to tackle the scourge of poverty that continues to blight too many lives across the country.

The £100 million per annum of ring fenced funding to schools is welcome, also, whilst acknowledging the concerns expressed by local authorities over redistributing Council Tax reform savings to pay for this.”

Mr Flanagan added, "The First Minister had encouraging things to say about the need to tackle the impact of poverty on educational experience, including the expansion of the Early Years entitlement and a commitment to employing more graduates, crucially including a greater number of qualified teachers, in our nurseries.

"Previous SNP administrations have recognised the importance of nursery teacher in pre-5 settings and yet the number of teachers employed in nurseries has dropped. This trend needs to be reversed.

"The EIS notes that the First minister made a clear differentiation between national tests, which are not going to happen, and standardised assessments designed to support teacher professional judgements.

"Whilst recognising that assessment is central to the learning process, EIS members have made very clear, that they are willing to resist the imposition of any system of assessment that is not focussed on supporting an individual pupil’s learning. Wholescale assessment of cohorts, for example, would not be appropriate.

"The EIS will continue to engage in constructive dialogue with the Scottish Government on these issues and to highlight teachers’ concerns regarding the purpose of these assessments and how data will be gathered, collated and reported.”