Editor's comment

8th May 2009 at 01:00

There are two very different views of A Curriculum for Excellence in this week's issue. It could "collapse on itself", according to the Educational Institute of Scotland (p1). But at one secondary school in West Lothian, "there is no sense that it will be impossible to deliver or doomed to fail" (p12). There were always going to be these contrasting attitudes simply because the experiences of implementation across the country have been so contrasting, as was confirmed in the surveys by the EIS and the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland.

It is worth pointing out that, amid the sound and fury of alarm bells, ACfE is still being held together by a consensus, the voices of woe such as Lindsay Paterson's notwithstanding. As EIS education convener Larry Flanagan has himself said, the new curriculum gives teachers the opportunity to move away from the straitjacket of "targets, tests and tables" to enjoy "the professional exercise of flexibility, innovation and creativity". Pace Professor Paterson, the debate about how to teach and what to teach will rage on. And there will always be tensions about teacher autonomy and central direction.

The EIS survey was an opportunity for the union's members to vent frustration, and it may therefore have over-accentuated the negative. What do we make of the fact that 600 teachers, over half, failed to reply? Happy? Couldn't care less? About to retire?

Nonetheless, as we have pointed out many times, the varying experiences in the quality and quantity of continuing professional develoment are still a major concern. It is startling that almost half of the respondents to the survey had not been to any such activity run by their local authority. This could be to do with the lack of supply cover to release teachers, but it must be addressed. The Education Secretary said she has an initiative up her sleeve on CPD, as we reported on March 6. She needs to roll up her sleeves urgently.

Neil Munro.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now