Fix new curriculum or ditch it, teachers tell Education Secretary

7th May 2010 at 01:00
Secondary teachers will today issue a stark warning to Scotland's Education Secretary over the introduction of the new curriculum, telling him to "fix it or ditch it"

In his speech to the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association's annual congress, president Peter Wright urges Michael Russell either to make an honest attempt to resolve secondary teachers' concerns or to abandon the new curriculum.

The consequences of consigning Curriculum for Excellence to the dustbin would be "serious but by no means unthinkable", suggests Mr Wright, who goes on to describe the new curriculum as "mince".

Last month, the Educational Institute of Scotland - Scotland's largest teachers' union - was the only member of the Curriculum for Excellence Management Board to vote for a delay in implementing the new curriculum, calling for the introduction of the new qualifications to be put back by a year.

Mr Wright, the SSTA's representative on the board, voted for no delay in implementation, but will tell his members today the union has offered a "stay of execution only".

"The position I took that day was based on a categorical statement by the Cabinet Secretary that he was `absolutely committed to solve the problems'," he will say in his defence.

But today he attacks Mr Russell's subsequent failure to even hint at "the very serious issues facing secondary teachers", adding: "With regard to CfE, the message from the SSTA is, `Mr Russell: fix it or ditch it'."

Mr Wright also uses his platform to attack the General Teaching Council for Scotland for failing to represent teachers' interests. He takes issue with the body's acceptance of teacher re-accreditation - Scotland's version of England's "licence to teach".

"One might have imagined that teachers, elected by their fellow teachers, would have greeted this proposal with a degree of circumspection," he says.

"Teachers are beginning to perceive the GTCS as little more than an employers' stooge which does absolutely nothing for classroom teachers other than lift pound;45 out of their pockets once a year."

emma.seith@tes.co.uk.

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