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School leaders scramble for places at primary CPD sessions

Primary heads and deputes are so anxious for guidance on assessment, moderation and pupil profiling that there has been a stampede for places in special CPD sessions being run by their union.

The original ceiling on numbers was set at 20 per session, but in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the AHDS union was forced to double the limit and create a waiting list a week after booking opened.

In Aberdeen, 24 have signed up so far for a session at the end of the month, and more are expected. Only the Inverness session in September still has vacancies.

Irene Matier, a past president of the AHDS, who is helping to run the profiling workshops, said many schools had expected their local authorities to give them more definitive guidance on how to produce the profiles for P7 pupils which have to be delivered next month. "Schools are grasping at straws," she said.

A member of the Curriculum for Excellence management board, Mrs Matier said she had warned Education Scotland that assessment, moderation and profiling were still a "work in progress". In her opinion, the shift to full implementation would take five years.

Just as secondary teachers were anxious to see exemplification of pupil standards for the new Nationals 4 and 5, so primary teachers wanted guidance too.

She added: "It would have been nice to get money for supply staff to facilitate things like moderation. Secondary have now got extra time to work on qualifications - it would be quite nice to think we had a little time given to us for professional discussion as well."

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