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Commenting on the announcement by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills that new National Qualifications are to be developed, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The NASUWT welcomes the announcement of the development of a new set of National Qualifications, as this is something which the NASUWT has been recommending for several years.

“In order for any new system of qualifications and assessment to be successful though, it is vital that sufficient time is taken over these developments and, crucially, that classroom teachers are at the heart of discussions and decisions, given their vital role in teaching and assessing National Qualification courses.

“The OECD's recent work in Scotland, reviewing the Curriculum for Excellence and the associated qualifications and assessment system, provided a useful model by establishing a Scottish Practitioner Forum and consulting with it and with teacher trade unions openly and seriously.

“We expect to see a similar commitment to consultation and joint working from the Scottish Government as these plans for qualifications are taken forward.”

Mike Corbett, NASUWT National Official Scotland, said:

“Any replacement of the current system of qualifications will need to tackle the existing over-emphasis on assessment and bureaucracy which is driving teaching to the test, exacerbating excessive workload burdens for teachers and diverting teachers from focusing on teaching and learning.

“A holistic approach to reform is needed which removes the unnecessary bureaucracy and policy overload which is currently undermining the efforts of teachers and which will create a coherent qualifications and  curriculum structure which supports young people to achieve their best and realise their ambitions.”

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