Art is driven by time-tables and targets

24th March 2006 at 00:00
I am a principal art and design teacher of more than 20 years' experience in a Highland comprehensive where we have, for the past 10 years or more, been doing AS and A-levels.

I was recently required by line management to change to Scottish Qualifications Agency presentations at senior level in my subject.

It has been an uncomfortable experience. My teaching time running these courses has been dramatically changed in comparison with the A-level system. Much of my time is now spent attending to and teaching about deadlines, exam requirements, presentation expectations - all generated by the SQA assessment procedures.

It has become a stressful and pointless procedure for both me and my pupils - although they and most of their parents, in their blissful ignorance, generally accept it all as part of the Scottish system.

I am constantly aware that there is no time for genuine art education. It's an ongoing "do this, do that, have it done for Friday at the latest", and then we move quickly on to the next SQA requirement.

The only positive aspect of it all is the knowledge that I am at least getting paid for wasting so much of my time and energy.

Brian Poe Invergordon

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