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16th May 2014 at 01:00

Highlight positive partnerships, not Nationals negativity

It has been disappointing over the past year to see so much negativity about the new National qualifications, and particularly disheartening for S4 parents and children. However, we want to make public our gratitude to those teachers who have really pulled out all the stops to deliver the new courses and assessments.

The first year of the new qualifications was always going to involve extra work and we know how hard teachers and pupils have worked this session - several of our National Parent Forum of Scotland area representatives have children in S4. Our children have undoubtedly been challenged in new ways, demonstrating their research skills through new assessments such as assignments or - as they are doing now - applying their knowledge and thinking skills in exams.

We think there have been real positives: the consistent hard work that was required for unit assessments has ensured that many of our young people are now better prepared for the step up to Highers in S5 and S6.

As an organisation, we provided the Nationals in a Nutshell series of documents summarising the new qualifications, which were very well-received. We worked in partnership with educators to prepare these and we are committed to sustaining and developing those partnerships as the revised Highers are rolled out.

As we move into the next school year, we urge teaching professionals to continue to work with parents in their schools, sharing positive information that will enhance confidence in our new qualifications system.

Iain Ellis

Chair of the National Parent Forum of Scotland

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