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Improving school qualifications

Published: 7 Jan 2016 09:39
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Education Secretary establishes expert group.

Bureaucracy, stress and workload are vital issues that must be addressed to support Scotland's teachers, Education Secretary Angela Constance said today.

Ms Constance set out her commitment to continued support for the profession on these and other issues, as she announced the creation of an expert group to advise on improvements to assessment and qualifications, following the introduction of new National qualifications in 2013-14.

The group, to be chaired by Learning Minister Alasdair Allan, will be asked to make recommendations on issues such as internal assessment and teacher workload that can be considered by Ministers ahead of the 2016-17 school year.

At the International Congress on School Effectiveness and Improvement in Glasgow, Ms Constance said:

"Teachers are at the heart of the success of new Highers and National Qualifications, where record Higher and Advanced Higher results have been achieved.

"We must continue to do all that we can to free up our teachers to teach, lessening workloads through tackling bureaucracy, and minimising stress, for the benefit of all in our education system.

"Following the introduction of the National Qualifications, now is the right time to look in depth at what further improvements can be made in schools.

"This Group will apply a sharp focus on what more we need to do – in the short- and long-term – to fully embed our new National Qualifications as part of Curriculum for Excellence. I expect to see initial recommendations by the end of March so that there could be improvements for the next school year."

Notes to editors

The Scottish Government, working closely with the Scottish Qualifications Authority and Education Scotland, has provided an unprecedented level of support – over £11 million since 2012 – to help teachers and schools prepare for Curriculum for Excellence and the National Qualifications.

The membership of the group will be confirmed shortly and will comprise key education stakeholders, academics and other experts.