What a waste ACfE is

6th November 2009 at 00:00

Far from being "reactionary drivel", as Sarah McDonald suggests (Letters, October 23), R Brown's assertion that discipline measures have been eroded is pretty much a fair description of the situation nowadays.

The "drivel", in fact, appears earlier on in her letter, where Ms McDonald describes A Curriculum for Excellence as "incredibly progressive" in "developing pupils as rounded human beings".

As a profession, we have always strived to develop our pupils' manners, behaviour, respect for others - this will not change. We have done this by enforcing a code of conduct in our classroom which does not allow pupils to show disrespect for others or talk out of turn. We do not need ACfE to bring this in.

If a pupil was so disruptive that he or she threatened the progress of others, he or she was removed from the classroom (and sometimes school) as a sanction. This is not a statement that the individual does not matter, rather a reinforcement of our basic need to provide education for pupils and not let the disruptive minority ruin their chances.

Today, the disruptive pupil commands more focus and resources than the well-behaved majority, and we have reached a point where a refusal to accept violent, abusive and highly disruptive pupils is seen as a failure on the teacher'sschool's part.

ACfE is a waste of time, money and resources. Standards will not rise because of the removal of exams: the more internal assessment there is, the more scope there is for schools to claim an improvement, which of course they will, because otherwise they will seem to be failing. Such an outcome will not help anyone except those involved in planning and preparing this curriculum and, as soon as it is in place, they will presumably start on the next great initiative.

It is time to put knowledge back at the heart of education.

George McCready Great Western Road, Glasgow.

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