A once envied reputation trashed – why Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence is anything but

THERE CAN BE very few people left in Scotland who consider Curriculum for Excellence to have been a positive step forward for the Scottish education system. Those who do are wilfully blinding themselves to the steady fall in educational standards, while the rest of us are deeply concerned about the future prospects for young people in Scotland, and for the wider economic impact of a weakened education system.

Scots teacher warns schools are “hotbed” of covid and makes plea for action

A desperate teacher has warned schools are a “hotbed” of covid infections amid growing concerns over safety in the classroom. In a letter to the Daily Record, she said pubs and restaurants have been blamed for coronavirus levels while claiming schools are in the “elephant” in the room.

The SNP is failing Scotland’s schoolchildren

In August 2015, Nicola Sturgeon declared that education, not the cause of Scottish independence to which she has devoted her political life, was the policy area that mattered most to her. “Let me be clear-I want to be judged on this” she said.

Curriculum for excellence needs urgent reform, author says

Douglas Ross said that many people who had “suffered the horror of serious crime” had then gone on to have their “pain compounded” by this verdict – which acquits the accused. Scotland is the only part of the UK where juries can return three verdicts at the end of a trial – guilty, not guilty or not proven.

‘Safety strikes’ on the cards over school Covid fears

Scotland’s education secretary has said that schools remain “very safe”, despite thousands of pupils and students being off as a result of rising numbers of Covid-19 cases and concerns that teachers are not receiving the same protection as employees in other workplaces.

Scots schools perform better if official teaching advice ignored, expert claims

SCHOOLS perform better if they ignore the reams of official advice on teaching, an education expert claimed. Keir Bloomer – a key architect of the Curriculum for Excellence – claimed the introduction of the nationwide syllabus over the past decade had been “largely negative”.

Scottish Government in fresh row over SQA grades fiasco contract

A pro- SNP academic tasked by the Scottish Government to lead an “independent review” into the school grades scandal was hired in a £22,000 deal which failed to comply with contract rules. Professor Mark Priestley was given the job of investigating the way the SQA awarded qualifications when exams were cancelled during lockdown.

Why we need to make the SQA listen to teachers

I have a tendency to look for the root of a problem – it is a curse that goes along with being a physics teacher. Over the past two months of online discussions about the future of exams in Scotland, I’ve written, rewritten and scrapped at least five diatribes on exams in Scotland and what we could do to make them better.

Willie Rennie: ‘Put education at heart of Covid recovery’

In his keynote address, which was broadcast live online, Mr Rennie argued that politicians from different parties should come together to provide a “needle-sharp focus” on key issues, such as providing more green jobs, improving childcare and mental health services.

Legal action warning as union launches disputes against two Scots local authorities over Covid ‘fails’

TWO local authorities and a number of schools across Scotland are failing in their duty of care to their teaching staff over risk assessments and could face legal action to comply, a union has warned.

Douglas Ross proposes new ‘Rural Teacher Fund’ to end school staff shortages – The Courier

Douglas Ross has vowed to invest millions of pounds to try to end chronic teacher shortages in rural schools if his party win power in Scotland. The Scottish Conservative leader revealed he would create a new national Rural Teacher Fund to help fill vacancies and ensure there is no postcode lottery for youngsters.

Scotland’s National 5 exams to be cancelled next year

Scottish National 5 exams will be cancelled next year and replaced with teacher assessments and coursework, Scotland’s education secretary has announced. John Swinney said going ahead with all senior school exams during the pandemic was “too big a risk”, adding that the decision meant schools could “build an exam diet for highers and advanced highers that is as safe as it possibly can be”.

Opinion: Iain Macwhirter: Day of reckoning beckons over Scotland’s student scandal

I DON’T know if it is a breach of human rights law, but the way students have been treated by Scotland’s universities is certainly a breach of trust. Thousands were allowed to return to crowded halls, in the middle of a pandemic, with precious little thought given to the ethics and health implications of doing so.

Scotland poised for half-term ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown as R rate rises to 1.7

Scotland is reportedly on the verge of announcing a “circuit breaker” lockdown for the half-term break this month. Scottish Government sources say the move – between October 12 and October 19 – is being considered to deal with a rise in new cases.

Revealed: Scots teachers forced onto benefits despite £75m funding boost

TEACHERS are being forced to sign onto Universal Credit, get second jobs outside education or leave the occupation despite £75 million of extra funding being given to councils for schools to hire more staff during the pandemic, we can reveal.

SNP still stuck in 2014 as we reveal education plans

I’M writing this column on the sixth anniversary of the 2014 independence referendum and I’m struck by how little much of our politics has changed since that day. The aftermath of that vote saw another unprecedented transferral of power to the Scottish Parliament and, for a while, the SNP at least attempted to maintain the illusion that they had accepted the result and were focused on delivering for the people of Scotland.

Scottish school exams could be scrapped in 2021 as contingency plans are made

The Scottish Government is making contingency plans in case next year’s school exams have to be scrapped due to coronavirus, the education secretary has admitted. John Swinney said today there is a “likelihood” that learning for some pupils between now and next May could be interrupted, but added ministers were committed to keeping classrooms open.

Hundreds of thousands of students in Scotland banned from socialising

Hundreds of thousands of students in Scotland have been banned from socialising and going to bars as coronavirus cases spread to more than 20 universities across the UK. In a set of rules agreed by Scottish university leaders, students across the country were told they will not be allowed to socialise outside their households.

Analysis: Scotland’s education system was failing…Covid made it worse

Royal Scottish Geographical Society Scottish education has long been held up as a global example and is widely regarded and copied by many countries around the world. This reputation is merited from decades, if not centuries, of priority given to quality education.

Academics criticise Edinburgh University over David Hume renaming row

LEADING academics at Edinburgh University have criticised a decision to rename the institution’s David Hume Tower due to the 18th century philosopher’s “comments on matters of race”. Figures including top historian Professor Sir Tom Devine have signed an open letter to the university’s principal expressing their “strong objection” to the move.

Scottish education officials drawing up plans in case exams are cancelled again

EDUCATION officials are drawing up contingency plans in case exams are cancelled for a second time next year, amid a “disturbing” rise in coronavirus cases. John Swinney, Scotland’s Education Secretary, said there remains a “very real risk” of further disruption to pupils and schools.

Leaked email reveals ‘ridiculous number’ of teachers in Glasgow schools self-isolating after flouting guidance

An “extraordinary number” of teachers have tested positive for coronavirus in the past week with staff being reprimanded for failing to follow guidelines. Glasgow teachers and staff are failing to physically distance from each other with evidence of “transmission between adults”, a letter by the Executive Director of Education Maureen McKenna revealed.

Scottish university hits back after being ranked lowest in Scotland in World University Rankings

A Scottish University has hit back claiming it’s given a “strong performance” after Scotland’s universities were ranked in a new world-league table published on Wednesday. Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen responded to its low ranking by highlighting the number of different national and international university league tables that each use their own set of metrics.

Parent fury as Scots kids told to wear coats in class this winter due to Covid

PARENTS are being told kids should keep their coats on in class this winter – as school windows will be left open to cut Covid risks. Education chiefs said they are prioritising “infection control over thermal comfort”.

Tens of thousands of Scottish pupils absent from school

By Christopher Sleight BBC Scotland news More than 100,000 pupils in Scotland are absent from school with attendance down to 84.5%, according to Scottish government figures. Data collected from local authorities shows that more than 15.5% pupils were off school last Friday. However, only 22,821 of the absences are recorded as “Covid-19 related”.

‘Teachers are being thrown under a bus’: New Covid concerns in Scottish schools as 91 per cent raise social distancing issues

NEW concerns have been raised about whether Scotland’s schools are Covid-secure environments as a new survey found that 92% raised social distancing issues. The survey conducted by the country’s largest teaching union EIS, received responses from almost 600 school reps across the country and closed on Monday.

Scottish Government ‘cannot afford to bail out universities’ as more places to be funded

SCOTLAND’S Universities Minister has warned he doesn’t have the cash needed to bail out the country’s universities – and has instead suggested institutions will need to empty their reserves to stay afloat and rely on support from Westminster.

Row as SNP cheerleader appointed to lead ‘independent’ exam grades probe

A professor leading an “independent review” into the SQA exam grades scandal is at the centre of a row over his public support for the SNP. Mark Priestley declared for Nicola Sturgeon’s party at the general election in December and said the “clear” message in some seats was “vote SNP or get a Tory”.

Opinion: Marianne Taylor: Why won’t the exams fiasco go away? Because this time it’s personal

I am not my postcode. Stop the postcode lottery. Justice for scheme weans. Not just slogans daubed on placards, but valid and deeply-felt expressions of injustice. And also a warning to the political class that the young people affected by the ongoing SQA fiasco will not let this go away.

Why Nicola Sturgeon’s apology over Scotland’s exams calamity isn’t enough

There is always something refreshing about those rare occasions when a government must admit it screwed up. The preferred practice is to twist and shimmy, to recast the narrative and work the data in order to achieve a Messi-like escape from imminent danger. Sometimes it even works.

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