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Adviser has a lot of nerve

In "Key curriculum adviser 'despondent' over attitude to reform" (TESS, 20 May), statements attributed to George Smuga concern me, especially as he is is relaying information to "influential" educators".

In commenting on the lack of external validation of qualifications, I wonder how Mr Smuga expects parents and employers to view this. How are employers to know whether a National 4 qualification is the same across the country?

He said teachers showed a "lack of nerve" by not changing their practice, but teachers' nerve is being tested by being set on a path the end of which has not been made clear. We have no concrete details on the content of the assessment.

Most worrying is his view of the "plus side" - that transition and behaviour are better now. To suggest this can be attributed to Curriculum for Excellence is nonsense. For years, schools have been emphasising the transition stages and it is this work that is reaping any benefit. Transition is being hampered by difficulties in knowing how to report on the development of P7 pupils to support smoother transition.

I wonder where Mr Smuga is getting the information to share with educators!

Christine Hair, principal teacher of science, Glasgow.

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