Truth: a gift for all seasons

1st January 1999 at 00:00
IT IS clear from your report (December 4) on the work of the Higher Still liaison group that official standards of literacy and numeracy are in sharp decline.

With reference to biology, it states "there are one or two new suggested learning activities but these are not compulsory". The subject guide for biology states there are 11 new learning activities, so it is difficult to understand how even in the era of spin-doctoring 11 can be reduced to one or two.

While it states these are not compulsory such a phrase should carry a health warning that any school which fails "to provide an improved balance or reliable experiments" would be portrayed as failing its pupils. This therefore casts doubt on 0-5 per cent minimal change. The truth from the Scottish Office Education and Industry Department would be a welcome Christmas present.

Bill Guthrie

Argyle Street, Dundee

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