Getting a view on excellence

9th June 2006 at 01:00
Few in education would argue with Bill Boyd's assertion that the drive to boost academic performance comes at the expense of stimulating children's creative abilities ("Dances with the mind", June 2).

The bones of A Curriculum for Excellence hint that there is a wish to do something about it. However, we won't know for sure where we are going until, first, the detail of this new curriculum is revealed and, second, what the assessment regime associated with this new curriculum looks like.

Senior managers and union activists have had an opportunity to consider the philosophy underlying A Curriculum for Excellence. George MacBride, the convener of the Educational Institute of Scotland's education committee, has pointed out that there has been little, if any, disagreement in relation to the principles underpinning the curriculum review. However, the real test will come when we get around to considering the practicalities.

For example, if we are to have "an individualised curriculum" for every pupil, we will need to have the staffing (with appropriate qualifications) to deliver it. Individualised learning requires a real commitment to reduce class sizes, well beyond that already given.

We have still to see what the meat of the curriculum review looks like.

Until we do, classroom teachers will find it difficult to respond meaningfully to any consultation.

Nobody should be under any illusions that there is any other explanation for the complete absence of any motion on the subject of the curriculum review on the order paper at the EIS annual meeting this week.

Bill Ramsay

Albert Avenue, Glasgow

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