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Commenting on the OECD’s review of the Curriculum for Excellence, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“Many of the OECD’s findings reaffirm the concerns raised by teachers regarding curriculum and assessment, but there are opportunities to improve on what currently exists, provided the teaching profession is properly involved and consulted.
 
“The founding principles of Curriculum for Excellence have been lost amid an over-emphasis on assessment and bureaucracy, which is driving up teacher workloads and diverting teachers from focusing on teaching and learning.
 
“This is particularly a concern in the senior phase where over-assessment is driving teaching to the test. 

“The pandemic has further exacerbated existing weaknesses within the system which will need to be addressed going forwards with the fullest possible involvement of the profession and input from practising classroom teachers. 

“As the OECD has stated, whist there is much to be proud of in Scotland’s education system, priority must be given to tackling the deep-seated issues which are undermining the efforts and morale of teachers.

“Providing teachers with adequate dedicated time for curriculum planning would be a step forward in helping to tackle excessive workload and support efforts to raise educational standards. Unnecessary bureaucracy must be stripped back and policy overload must be addressed.

Greater coherence and consistency is also needed in relation to the development of curriculum and assessment policy in the hands of an agency that has the confidence of the teaching profession and that is competent and accountable for its decisions.

“The recent performance of the SQA and Education Scotland has prompted serious concerns amongst teachers about the regulation of qualifications and curriculum matters.
 
“The Cabinet Secretary needs to grasp this opportunity to develop a genuinely collegiate approach going forwards, ensuring that the perspective of classroom teachers is integral to future curriculum development and design.
 
“We look forward to working with the Government to build on the many strengths which the OECD has rightly identified and to achieve even more for our children and young people.” 

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