Curriculum for Excellence will reduce emphasis on tests and exams

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Education Secretary Mike Russell today urged the education sector and Scottish society to back….

Education Secretary Mike Russell today urged the education sector and Scottish society to back the new curriculum for the benefit of young people and the nation’s future.

Speaking to the NASUWT conference, the SNP Minister said Curriculum for Excellence will deliver a more balanced curriculum that develops a wider range of skills and qualities and reduces the emphasis on tests and exams – the very objectives set out by the Parliamentary Inquiry into the purpose of education back in 2002.

Mr Russell said:
“In 2002 Scotland had a National Debate on Education and a Parliamentary Inquiry into the purpose of education – of which I am proud to have been part. Both of these pieces of work took a long hard look at our education system.

“What’s more they both reached the same conclusion: which was that Scottish education had strengths in delivering a broad and flexible curriculum. But they also agreed that we needed a more balanced curriculum, designed to develop a wider range of skills, abilities and competencies and with a reduced emphasis on tests.

“Curriculum for Excellence was and still is the answer to those concerns. It will mean that our schools help young people develop knowledge alongside critical skills such as problem solving and creative thinking.

“Curriculum for Excellence offers the opportunity to make sure our young people have the skills they need, which in turn will help make sure they – and Scotland – are in a stronger position to succeed in a global economy

“That’s why we all need to get behind Scottish education, get behind our schools and teachers and help champion real change and improvement in the system.”

Labour’s education spokesman Des McNulty described the new carriculum as being in “turmoil”.  Labour have called for the introduction to be delayed after a recent survey revealed many teachers had concerns over preparation.  However the study also found that a majority of teachers were in favour of the new curriculum.