Harness the energy of young teachers

20th November 2009 at 00:00

I am surprised and disappointed at the column inches devoted to critiques of A Curriculum for Excellence, which isn't about outcomes and capacities, or assessment and experiences.

ACfE is about the right of every young person to inherit a quality education system from those who benefited from a lifelong career and, for many, lifelong enjoyment. It is about leaving a legacy for them in increasingly difficult times, a legacy which will develop the skills for life which young people need more than ever.

There is a certain hypocrisy in the notion that young people are being told they will be doing jobs that haven't been invented yet by a profession which is debating over whether the education system which will serve their needs has to change. Of course it does. Education serves the needs of society and the needs of society have changed.

There is also an element of scaremongering - outcomes which aren't fully thought out, a curriculum which isn't fully fleshed out, an assessment which isn't fully laid out.

A profession which for years complained about being told what to do, when and how to do it, a profession which has for years felt devalued, now has the opportunity to drive and develop a curriculum which can be the distillation of the expertise gathered by those with years in the profession and driven by those who will benefit from the years they have to come in the profession. A perfect blend of experience and youthful enterprise is what we have in Scottish schools, and enough energy and drive to make A Curriculum for Excellence a reality.

The quality of young staff in schools today is exceptional. They are innovative and creative, but the tragedy is that many are being trained for a profession in which they will excel but into which they will have to wait for a few years before the doors open.

The danger is now that the profession loses a new generation of teachers who can drive the excellent curriculum to which we all aspire. I am asking for an investment in people as they are the greatest resource. I am asking for that investment now, as they will be the people using the curriculum and should be given the opportunity to design it.

Alex Cowie, Cumloden Road, Minnigaff.

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