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EIS fears over load on 5-14

Schools do not have the staffing, equipment and curriculum materials to make new 5-14 courses work, the Educational Institute of Scotland says.

Moira McCrossan, the union's vice-president, said at a meeting in Greenock:

"The proposals place impossible burdens on teachers and schools, while at the same time placing quite unreasonable burdens on the pupils themselves."

There was too much emphasis on course content and simplistic measurement techniques and far too little emphasis on how young people learn, she said. The Government had failed to take account of successive years of budget cuts. In-service training, "an essential prerequisite", was constantly being trimmed back.

Ms McCrossan feared that Government guidelines had led to "mechanistic and defensive responses" with teachers obliged to ensure pupils completed every aspect of the curriculum within a set period. "Filling in boxes, ticking checklists as part of monitoring exercises, together with detailed assessments at every stage of the process risk becoming more important than meaningful education," she said.

"Teachers are constantly told to concentrate on the basics, because that is what will be tested. Yet they must work to ensure breadth and balance because that will be monitored by HMI."

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