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by Tom Freeman
11 February 2015
Secondary teachers call for deferment of CfE Advanced Highers

Secondary teachers call for deferment of CfE Advanced Highers

The Scottish Secondary Teacher’s Association (SSTA) has said it is “alarmed” at Education Secretary Angela Constance’s insistence to press on with the introduction of the new Advanced Highers next year, after members reported they were finding managing changes to the curriculum “overwhelming”.

Last week Constance told MSPs Advanced Higher was more flexible because it was a much smaller cohort of pupils and the course had a greater emphasis on independent learning. “I can see no compelling case to defer,” she said.

However the SSTA has now written to the Cabinet Secretary on behalf of members warning if teachers are not allowed to run the new qualification in tandem with the old one- as has been allowed this year for the new Higher- it will “adversely impact on our young people”.

Robert Macmillan, SSTA Acting President said: “This practical measure would demonstrate to secondary teachers that the Government is genuinely listening to their concerns and will show the public that the educational needs of young people are put first.”

The letter suggests the SQA and Education Scotland have been too slow to support teachers with necessary materials for the introduction of the new National Qualifications, which replaced Standard Grades last year, and again with the new Highers this year.

“The materials for the new Advanced Higher are due to be published by March/June 2015. This is an unrealistic timetable for a course that many schools will need to start teaching in June 2015. Additionally, past experience shows that changes to SQA examinable content and assessment materials will be made for some time after these dates,” it says.

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