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Bid to force the pace on primary specialists

David Henderson reports from Perth on the pressure building up in staffrooms to harden the union's case for a 'radical adjustment' to internal assessment

THE 5-14 guidelines are beyond the scope of an individual to deliver, Patrick Boyle, Renfrewshire, said in supporting the role of primary subject specialists. Teachers had to plan, teach, assess, record and report all curricular areas for all attainment targets appropriate to the needs of each individual pupil, with up to 33 in a class.

"They need to be aware of subject knowledge across a huge number of areas. No mean task and one that I believe we do ourselves no credit by continuing the falsehood that we can do it, ven if we get appropriate staff development," Mr Boyle said. He favours subject specialists in expressive arts, information technology, science and modern languages.

The post-McCrone cut in class contact time would need more staff, Mr Boyle said. Specialists, trained in primary teaching, could be recruited to reduce workload if the curriculum status quo was maintained.

"Open and honest debate about the primary curriculum and what should be taught and by whom is long overdue. Now is the time to bring some sense to primary education," he said.

Union leaders replied that members were split on the need for specialists and asked for a further review.

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