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Reform of the Scottish education system must be a post-Covid priority, as the founding principles of the Curriculum for Excellence have been lost amid an over-emphasis on assessment and bureaucracy, the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, is arguing.

Teachers are being disempowered by spiralling workloads and a command and control system which is undermining teachers’ ability to meet the needs of all pupils.

The Union is calling for the opportunity presented by the forthcoming review of the Curriculum for Excellence by the OECD to act as a starting point for the development of a genuinely collegiate system which recognises and values learning in its widest sense.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“The Covid crisis and the associated fallout around assessment and qualifications has emphasised the fault lines that have grown in the education system in Scotland.

“The introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence was supposed to signal a move towards a broad learning experience in which the needs of all pupils would be recognised and teachers would be supported to make the most of their skills and expertise.

“Instead we have seen an increase in assessment of pupils which has driven teaching to the test, swamping teachers in increasing bureaucracy and workload and putting pupils under additional stress.

“The combination of the current crisis and the reflective opportunity afforded by the imminent OECD review report on Curriculum for Excellence provides a chance to look again at how we can build a more sustainable and resilient education system with class teachers at its core, and who are realistically supported in meeting the needs of our young people.

“Such a system must be built on the principle of valuing and empowering teachers to do their best for their pupils.

“We will be pressing the new Education Secretary to recognise the need for a change of direction so we can build a system which is genuinely world-class and which equips all children and young people with the skills, confidence and knowledge to thrive.”


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