Last Minute Measures Confirm Secondary Schools not Ready for Curriculum for Excellence

This morning, Mike Russell the Cabinet Secretary for Education & Lifelong Learning in the SNP led Scottish Government, tried to shore up the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence. He announced a number of hastily assembled proposals to try to win over the substantial proportion of secondary teachers who are sceptical they are ready to introduce the new Curriculum for Excellence in mid August when the new school year begins. Amongst Mike Russell's panic measures is to charge two educational experts with the task of summarising the blizzard of guidance that has been already issued to schools and teachers; in fact more than 900 pages so far. With only nine more weeks until the end of term, time is running out. These last minute measures, far from spreading confidence, in fact confirm the worries that have been voiced nationally.

The scale of unease of secondary school teachers was confirmed independently by a recent Ipsos-Mori survey conducted for the Scottish government. The results showed that only 25% of secondary teachers say they have had good training on the new curriculum. Three in four secondary teachers also said they were not confident about delivering lessons for senior pupils.

When I have raised my concerns about the readiness of our schools in Dundee to implement Curriculum for Excellence, Elizabeth Fordyce, the Education Convener has said I am being negative. Perhaps now that the Scottish Government's own research confirms a crisis of confidence amongst secondary teachers, our SNP led council can join with the reasonable voices of those who argue that the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence should be postponed for a year.