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Camps divided on curriculum kick-off

I am extremely concerned to hear of the Education Secretary's plan to press on with the assessment element of Curriculum for Excellence, regardless of outside concerns. Surely it is better to implement this most important of education projects properly than to rush it forward?

Most teachers I come into contact with are very enthusiastic, but doubts about assessment and standards are serious and well-founded. A teacher workforce that is not confident will find it difficult to inspire confidence in pupils and parents.

We recently surveyed views of all our headteachers and, although there was general support for the new curriculum, the majority believe that a delay in the implementation of assessment elements would be of benefit. Certainly, access to the new National Assessment Resource is required as soon as possible - two months before implementation is not enough time.

We are not questioning the curriculum, but rather the nature of the outcomes - the end result that teachers and students work towards.

I can understand the Education Secretary's enthusiasm to get the new curriculum started, but sometimes we politicians need to be more patient to get the best results. It seems more sensible to wait, if that is what teaching professionals advise.

Marilyne MacLaren, convener, Children and Families, City of Edinburgh Council.

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