Late and Lengthy Guidance for Teachers Issued with Letter from Cabinet Secretary for Education

On Monday morning, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, John Swinney, issued a letter to all teachers in Scotland along with links to three separate documents:

A Statement for Practitioners from HM Chief Inspector of Education August 2016 (6 Pages)

Benchmarks Numeracy and Mathematics Draft, August 2016 (43 pages)

Benchmarks Literacy and English Draft August 2016 (49 pages)

In his letter he says, 
"I accept in the last few years, that time (of teachers) has become cluttered by a plethora of guidance and advice that, however well intentioned, has led to increased workload, confusion and duplication. I am determined to tackle that problem."

While he promised to deliver this to teachers by the beginning of the new school year, he must be embarrassed that he has missed his target by two weeks with two of the documents unfinished and only issued in draft. Issuing almost one hundred pages of additional guidance may also suggest that he has not made a good start in simplifying and clarifying the priorities for our school teachers.

Clearly more documentation will need to be considered when the final versions of the Benchmarks for Maths and English are eventually circulated. I think, the length and ambition of the new documents mean that it will be difficult for our Head Teachers to find collective time to work out with their staff what this means for their schools until the next CPD days in November. 

This is a disappointing start from the Cabinet Secretary for Education.