Scottish Tories call for education reforms
The Scottish Conservatives are calling for a complete reform of National 4 qualifications requiring all pupils studying at this level to sit exams in basic literacy and numeracy.
At present, the N4 does not involve formal exams at the end of the course, instead relying on continuous assessment.
The Scottish Tories say that many parents, teachers and employers believe this is a serious flaw within Curriculum for Excellence.
As well as calling for the N4 reforms, they are also calling for more clarity around Curriculum for Excellence in general, more “flexible” routes into teaching, and more local accountability and “empowered” school boards.
Scottish Conservative Shadow Education Secretary Liz Smith said: “Four years ago, Nicola Sturgeon asked us to “judge her on education.”
“That statement now has a very hollow ring to it. No-one can pretend that all is well in Scotland’s schools. Four years on, the recent SQA results show that Scottish education has gone backwards.
“The pass rates for Higher and Advanced Higher are the lowest since the Curriculum for Excellence was introduced and there has been a fall in Higher pass rates for four consecutive years.
“That is a trend and a very worrying one, especially when the Higher is supposed to be the “gold standard” of Scottish education.”
She added: “Above all, National 4 should be completely reformed with new exams in basic literacy and numeracy that ensure every pupil leaves school able to read, write and count to a high level.”