Education reform needs to progress & must be properly funded and resourced

Created on: 29 Feb 2024 | Last modified: 11 Apr 2024

The EIS has today responded to the Parliamentary debate which took place late yesterday afternoon on the recommendations of the Hayward Review.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, “The EIS welcomed this debate and urges the Scottish Government in its response to the Hayward recommendations to end the delays to the stalled Education Reform process, and to drive forward the meaningful change to qualifications and assessment in the Senior Phase which are set out so compellingly in the Review.”

Ms Bradley continued, “It was clear from all in the Chamber that the time for action is now.  Our members have campaigned ceaselessly for reform of Senior Phase qualifications and assessment to reduce the burden of over-assessment currently placed on young people - as well as the workload pressures on teachers trying to teach the curriculum, in S4 and S5, in what has been described as the ‘two term dash’. Advancing members’ views, we have argued for changes to reduce the emphasis on high-stakes exams, to place a greater emphasis on continuous assessment, trust in teacher professional judgement and to create sufficient time and space for greater breadth, depth, and enjoyment of learning across all areas of the curriculum, and parity of esteem across all learner pathways, together with more equitable outcomes for students.  We have demanded also that teachers be integral to designing the content of course assessment, including coursework.”

“The Scottish Diploma of Achievement has the potential to deliver this and make a bold statement that in Scotland we value much more in education than attainment measured by exam passes. Scotland’s teachers will rightly ask how they can be expected to deliver such bold, generational reforms in the face of crushing workload and an unprecedented crisis of under-resourcing. The EIS is clear that to support implementation, the Scottish Government must commit proper funding – for additional staff, reduced class sizes, reduced class contact time and ring-fenced resourcing to meet the rising level and complexity of additional support needs if all young people are to be supported to achieve an SDA that reflects their individual achievements.’’

Ms Bradley concluded, “There need to be rational, achievable timelines for implementation which prioritise change in a measured and balanced way, with ongoing collaborative decision-making processes, inclusive of all. We need to build on the strong sense of purpose underpinning the Hayward Review and move forward positively if we are to succeed in the mission to make education in the senior phase genuinely better for all - students, teachers and society as a whole.”