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Editor's comment

Dire warnings that we are at a critical point with A Curriculum for Excellence have been issued before. But matters are now coming to a head (p1 and 4).

Even if it is the natural inclination of headteachers and teaching unions to bemoan lack of time and resources for any new initiative, the profession is clearly not as engaged in the new curriculum as it should be. And the mantra all along has been that this was to be a teacher-led initiative.

One of the main complaints is that the management board of ACfE has failed to communicate effectively, a charge accepted even by one of its own members. There was an expectation in education circles that one of the chief architects of the new curriculum, Maggi Allan or Brian Boyd, would front a public campaign to sell the new curriculum across the country. To date, that does not appear to be happening.

The role of the management board, we are told by the Scottish Government, is to manage the processes, not communicate it. But someone will have to unseal ACfE from its vacuum pack - and soon.

Not surprisingly, those in charge of schools want to get to grips with the practical elements. How do you timetable the Curriculum for Excellence? If you are offering pupils more options, will you not need more members of staff? How is a school to place its pupils when they arrive in S1 at the upper end of level 2 in English or level 4 in music, as opposed to the old levels C or D? Will A Curriculum for Excellence improve the transition process from primary to secondary? Or, as the Educational Institute of Scotland fears, will we end up with ACfE primary and another ACfE secondary?

It is surely time, as Keir Bloomer wrote in these pages last month, to inject a bit of 'big picture' excitement into this project - as well as giving schools the reassurances they need.

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