Should we Delay the Introduction of the New National Exams in Dundee Secondary Schools?

Laurie Bidwell

5 February 2012

Speaking about Preparation for introducing the new school examinations in Dundee Secondary Schools, Labour's Education Spokesperson Councillor Laurie Bidwell said:

"Now that the 33 period week has been abandoned in Dundee, parents and carers and members of the Education Committee need to know how our nine secondary schools will progress the new S3 which will run for the first time from August 2012.

"We also need to know how the senior phase, S4-S6, will be structured.

"The first students undertaking the new S4 on Curriculum for Excellence will begin their studies in August 2013.

"This year of study will lead up to the examinations, National 4 and 5, in May 2014."

"Earlier this week, East Refrewshire Council announced that they had decided to delay by a year putting their secondary pupils in for the new National 4 and 5 Examinations.

"Current S2 pupils in Dundee will be amongst the first to sit these in June 2014.

"Teachers' leaders have also voiced concerns that many secondary teachers do not feel adequately prepared for the next phase of implementing the Curriculum for Excellence.

"This is not a vote of confidence in the Scottish Government’s plans for the Curriculum for Excellence which frankly seem to be unravelling."

"In Dundee we need to know whether the Education Convener, Liz Fordyce has a Plan B for our secondary schools?

"More specifically, will she give an absolute guarantee that the resources are in place and that teachers in all our nine secondary schools will be ready for the next phase of the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence and preparing their pupils for the new examinations?

"If not, will she stand by her pupils and give their teachers an additional year to carry on with Standard Grades?

"This would allow one more year of preparation for secondary teachers.

"While I appreciate that she is standing down as a Councillor in May, I hope, for the sake of the pupils involved, she is looking further ahead."

"It's not Liz Fordyce's education which is at risk, nor mine.

"We can’t afford to gamble with the education of our children."


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