Depressed and confused over oncoming exams

30th April 2010 at 01:00

I am appalled at the number of parents, grandparents, guardians and students who are depressed and confused over the coming exams. All tell the same story: secondary schools are not responding to individual students' needs, but trapping their pupils in a stranglehold of a timetable-led school.

The TESS has always supported the rights of individual pupils, teachers and parents.

It is becoming clear that "average" pupils, taking a small number of Standard grades or two to three Highers, are not getting the personal support they need, such as extra time in school to spend on revising and improving their knowledge.

Concerned parents trying to help their children are being bamboozled by jargon about the need for a "full and balanced curriculum". In one case I am aware of, a pupil is not allowed to sit Higher biology at Intermediate 2 or Intermediate 1 and must stay in the maths class all week, following pointless classwork as she is not being allowed to sit Higher maths at any level.

Surely school managements can organise a supervised library or study area where these pupils can revise and study the subjects they want to pass, rather than being imprisoned by dictatorial timetables. We are only talking about pupils who want to do well - not pupils who want to waste time. Schools must meet the needs of these pupils in the next two months, before it is too late.

Andrew Fyfe, Dunvegan Drive, Bishopbriggs.

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