Narrow curriculums under fire

Three schools have been asked for progress reports to address continuing curricular inadequacies, including the fee-paying Hutchesons' Grammar in Glasgow. Inspectors conclude that the school does not provide breadth and balance in the first and second-year, although an internal review found that parents, staff and pupils were satisfied.

Time for technological studies was well below the national minimum and a high percentage of pupils did not take up the course in third and fourth year. The recommended minimum hours were also substantially ignored in creative and aesthetic subjects and in religious and moral education.

Two schools caused sufficient concern to warrant a return visit this session. Speyside High had no regular religious observance except at Christmas and Easter, in defiance of national guidelines. The pace of learning in some classes and the consistency of homework were also criticised.

At Selkirk High, inspectors found a third of third and fourth-year pupils did not have a fully balanced curriculum. Ten per cent lacked two curriculum areas and many did not study a modern language beyond second year. RE receives less than the nationally recommended time and there is no provision for it in S5 and S6.

The inspectors noted disparagingly: "The school continues to emphasise the right of pupils to choose subjects freely."

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