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by Louise Wilson
18 March 2022
Curriculum for Excellence ‘beyond saving’ says Scottish Conservatives

Curriculum for Excellence ‘beyond saving’ says Scottish Conservatives

The Scottish Conservatives have called for the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) to be scrapped, claiming it is “beyond saving”.

The party says the curriculum – which was backed by all parties when it was first introduced – has “led to declining standards” in education.

Publishing a policy paper to coincide with a debate at the party’s conference in Aberdeen today, it is calling for a “national conversation” to design a replacement curriculum which would “favour a return to Scotland's traditional knowledge-based curriculum”.

Education spokesperson Oliver Mundell said the CfE was “an anchor that will keep dragging down school standards”.

He said: “The knowledge-based, rigorous and confident curriculum we once had was much better than the fuzzy and often contradictory guidance that dominates now. 

“Teaching and learning should be the central focus of our schools and we must halt the drift towards our teachers doubling up as social workers and well-being experts. This is often presented as kindness by the SNP but the truth is it is simply asking our schools to plug the gap for cuts elsewhere while educational attainment suffers as a result.”

The CfE was introduced in 2010 in a bid to provide schoolchildren with a more rounded education, establishing “broad general education” for the early phases before pupils are able to specialise.

But it came under pressure almost immediately over concerns about teacher workload, as well as issues with new qualifications.

The Tory policy document says a fresh curriculum should increase school autonomy, link funding to pupil performance, and promote investment in IT and digital.

The party is also calling for the new planned education agency, which will replace Education Scotland, to be based in Aberdeen, creating 1,000 jobs for the area.

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