MSP hits out at ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Will Hen­shaw

Ruther­glen MSP James Kelly has hit out at the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, say­ing the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment have lost the faith and con­fi­dence of Scot­land’s teach­ers.

Re­ports from the EIS con­fer­ence last week saw del­e­gates back industrial ac­tion over pay and a boy­cott of the new exam sys­tem.

Union rep­re­sen­ta­tives from South La­nark­shire high­lighted is­sues with the new Na­tional Qual­i­fi­ca­tions and in­ter­nal as­sess­ment.

The Labour MSP said par­ents, pupils and staff faced industrial ac­tion be­cause SNP Min­is­ters “re­fused to lis­ten to teach­ers’ con­cerns”.

He added: : “Lo­cal teach­ers are suf­fer­ing from an SNP-run ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem which is fail­ing our pupils.

“News from the EIS con­fer­ence sim­ply un­der­lines that the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment have com­pletely lost the faith and con­fi­dence of Scot­land’s teach­ers.

“School stu­dents in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang de­serve much bet­ter. The Higher Maths and Bi­ol­ogy ex­ams fi­asco is just one ex­am­ple of the ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary’s ap­palling track record.

“Pupils have fin­ished their ex­ams which they tried their hard­est for – it’s time the SNP tried their hard­est at run­ning the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

“From over- worked teach­ers, far­ci­cal ex­ams and a lack of re­sources, how many more warn­ing signs does the Gov­ern­ment need be­fore they step in and sort this mess out?”

A Scot­tish Gover­ment spokesper­son said: “As the Cabi­net Sec­re­tary has made clear, we all have a role in re­as­sur­ing young peo­ple and their par­ents of the fair­ness of the exam sys­tem.

“SQA takes re­spon­si­bil­ity for en­sur­ing that can­di­dates get fair treat­ment each year and that stan­dards are main­tained very se­ri­ously and has as­sured us that it has pro­ce­dures to make sure no can­di­date is dis­ad­van­taged if an exam pa­per is proven to be more de­mand­ing than in­tended.

“Ex­ter­nal as­sur­ance is al­ready pro­vided through SQA’s Qu a l i f i c ations Com­mit­tee which is made up of ed­u­ca­tional ex­perts from within and out­with Scot­land.

“We are work­ing with teach­ers’ rep­re­sen­ta­tives, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and other part­ners to ad­dress con­cerns around work­load.

“The Work­ing Group on Tack­ling Bu­reau­cracy iden­ti­fied spe­cific ar­eas where changes need to be made and how we can make sure teach­ers have the free­dom they need to carry on de­liv­er­ing our world-class cur­ricu­lum.

“Industrial ac­tion would not be in the in­ter­ests of any­one, least of all pupils and par­ents. We want to see a fair, af­ford­able deal and are work­ing with coun­cils and the unions to achieve that.”

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