Let's hear it for the power of critical skills training

20th April 2007 at 01:00
Two items in The TESS of April 6 - the front page report on the HMIE interim evaluation of curriculum flexibility in primary schools and the page 15 article "Critical skills reach critical mass in Lebanon" - highlighted some of the positive features of our acclaimed critical skills programme.

Hundreds of Scottish teachers and headteachers have undertaken CSP training and experienced its beneficial impact at classroom and whole-school level.

Many have commented that it is the most inspiring and effective training they have done and that it changed them as people as well as teachers.

But the most common comment is about the way in which CSP has enabled them to promote every aspect of A Curriculum for Excellence in a uniquely powerful and practical way. As one Ayrshire headteacher put it: "It fits in so well with ACfE that it is almost as if someone at the Scottish Executive has also been trained."

But what about the cost, the one serious criticism of our training? We do not make large profits or pay ourselves high salaries. Our training is of the highest quality because it is both intensive and extensive.

With validated impact levels of well over 90 per cent, CSP is highly cost-effective.

And we are working on development programmes with two Scottish authorities to enable them to become self-sufficient in CSP training within a few years. This will reduce the cost and make their training affordable and effective.

Colin Weatherley manager, critical skills programme (Scotland), Gullane, East Lothian

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