Rebels turn heat up on Higher Still English;News;News amp; Opinion

12th November 1999 at 00:00
DISAFFECTED English teachers have again savaged the Higher Still reforms and called for substantial redrafting of their subject.

Tony McManus, spokesman for the Scottish Association of Teachers of Language and Literature, this week published a 43-page journal to increase the pressure on the post-16 curriculum reformers. The association has previously collected 1,300 signatures from staff protesting about the weighting given to internal assessments.

Mr McManus, an Edinburgh teacher, claims that the architects of Higher Still English and Communication were "woefully, unbelievably ignorant of the workload burden already carried by teachers of English" and that internal assessment is "open to both misuse and abuse".

His ginger group is pressing for a halt to assessment of oral skills, the reinstatement of writing in prose on a non-literary topic and a removal of internal assessment. Such testing does not meet "rigorous standards of fairness", he says.

The association says that the experience with Scotvec, Standard grade folios and personal studies folios at Higher was that such systems of assessment can be misused.

"Higher Still requires teachers to be both the teacher and judge, at national level, of their senior pupils. This is not feasible and will lead to a national qualification which will lack credibility," it maintains.

In a broader attack on "philistinism", the association blames the low level of intellectual activity in society for poor levels of academic achievement in schools.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today