SNP is failing Scottish education

27th November 2009 at 00:00

Carole Ford, the president of School Leaders Scotland, has warned of an "administrative quagmire" at a time when everyone in education knows resources are scarce. The points that are being made are serious criticisms and they require an urgent response. We cannot allow the views of our headteachers, who are uniquely qualified to know what is going wrong, to be ignored or overridden.

It appears that the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence is being mishandled by the SNP. Their government has failed to implement the changes in the curriculum; in teaching and learning properly, it has not ensured that assessment changes are effectively managed to deliver the desired outcomes; and there is a vacuum caused by a lack of leadership from the Cabinet Secretary for Education which has undermined the credibility of the reforms.

Fiona Hyslop has allowed these concerns to mount. Teachers and heads feel they are not being supported. There is a lack of continuing professional development and their opinions are not being listened to.

These latest concerns, expressed by headteachers' representatives, come on top of a catalogue of failure by the SNP in education. Teacher numbers have plummeted under this government, and a pledge to reduce class sizes has not been delivered. It is not an exaggeration to say there is now a crisis mentality in the system.

Over the next few weeks, the Education Secretary has got to listen to those experts and ensure that their views, reflecting their commitment to Scottish education, are listened to.

Des McNulty, Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education, Scottish Parliament.

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