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by Tom Freeman
13 January 2016
Curriculum for excellence ‘should be simpler’ says Education Secretary

Curriculum for excellence ‘should be simpler’ says Education Secretary

Scotland’s school curriculum should be made simpler for teachers, parents and carers, according to Education Secretary Angela Constance.

In a Holyrood debate on education Constance said the Scottish Government has accepted the conclusions of the recent OECD report on Scottish education which said Scotland’s broad ‘curriculum for excellence’ is at a “watershed moment”.

It should be made simpler, “reducing bureaucracy and supporting a new sense of dynamism and energy,” she said.


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The National Improvement Framework, which includes standardised testing for primary schools, provides a “robust evidence base” to build on the recommendations, the minister added.

“This government had the courage to invite the OECD in to review education in Scotland and the courage to open up the education debate. We will now act in the best interests of our children,” she said.

Labour’s education spokesman Iain Gray said claims the Scottish Government is supporting school education while cutting local authority budgets “cannot be an honest approach either to politics or to budgeting”.

He pointed to where the OECD report was more critical, referring to the gap in attainment between the most and least deprived areas.

“The OECD report tells us that the gap is increasing, as measured by literacy and numeracy standards. It acknowledges Government initiatives to address that, but it also tells us that there is no strategy to be seen and warns of the danger of what it calls a “scattergun approach.” It is right, because no framework of any kind will close the attainment gap; at best, it will just describe it.”

Gray said a top tax rate of 50p could pay for investment in education, while the Liberal Democrats warned against “high stakes testing” which would lead to league tables.

The Conservatives supported the government motion.

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