Heads set the record straight

24th February 2012 at 00:00

In recent weeks there has been much publicity in relation to the development and implementation of the new National Qualifications - much of it surrounding East Renfrewshire's "position".

As headteachers in the seven East Renfrewshire secondary schools, we feel that we need to clarify one or two matters arising from this media coverage.

Since 2006, East Renfrewshire schools have offered only Access, Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2 qualifications in S4. As your readers will know, the SQA intends to replace Standard grade with National 4 and National 5 from 2014, but will continue to offer Intermediate qualifications until 2016.

Each of our schools has consulted with pupils, parents and teachers in relation to this unique position. All of the stakeholder groups in each school have given us, as headteachers, overwhelming support in delaying by one year the introduction of National 4 and National 5; not because it is the easy or expedient thing to do, but because they believe - as we do - that we can achieve better implementation of the new qualifications for all of our pupils by utilising the time available to us. This is only possible because of our unique position.

We would also like to take this opportunity to make clear that each school advised the director of education of its preferred way forward for the 2014 SQA examination diet. As a result and after careful consideration, the director agreed with his headteachers and sought and secured the approval of elected members for a delay of one year.

In East Renfrewshire, we are fully committed to Curriculum for Excellence and to the new National 4 and National 5 qualifications. We believe that all our schools have the same shared ambition and determination to provide our young people with experiences and outcomes of the highest quality, which respect the principles and spirit of CfE. We are confident that we shall prepare our young people well for the new qualifications and we look forward to 2015, when we present for National 4 and National 5 for the first time.

John Fitzpatrick, HT, Williamwood HS; John Docherty, HT, St Ninian's HS; Dean Smith, HT, Mearns Castle HS; Stuart Maxwell, HT, Eastwood HS; Ann Stewart, HT, Woodfarm HS; Andrew Sinclair, HT, Barrhead HS; Patricia Scott, HT, St Luke's HS.

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