Scottish pupils facing exams 'postcode lottery' that could harm university chances
SCOTTISH pupils are facing an exams “postcode lottery” that could harm their chances of getting a university place or top job, new figures show. It comes after Education Secretary John Swinney admitted cuts to teacher training in 2011 probably went too far.There are now 700 teaching vacancies and 4,000 fewer teachers since the SNP was swept to power 10 years ago.Teachers have also complained about being inundated with guidance on how to implement CfE, which discourages learning by rote and focuses on teaching skills such as problem-solving. The Scottish Conservatives, who obtained the latest data through freedom of information requests, said “parents will be alarmed” at the variations in Highers available.Liz Smith, the party’s education spokeswoman, said: “Subject choice is clearly critical when it comes to SQA qualifications and entry to college, university and the workplace.“It’s therefore a very important part of any pupil’s education.
“This has always been a problem, but it’s being exacerbated as a result of problems with teacher recruitment.“John Swinney knows only too well a few schools in his own Perthshire constituency have had real problems with recruiting teachers, including in key subjects like maths.“That is completely unacceptable. The SNP must address this issue head on before more young people are adversely affected.” The warning comes after think-tank Reform Scotland said inequality was “built in” to CfE.It found some pupils were restricted to just five crucial National 4 and 5 subjects, while others are able to take eight, purely because of the school they attend.First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly pledged to make closing the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils a key priority. But her has been accused of failing children.Fewer than half of pupils aged 13 and 14 are performing well in writing, the latest Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy revealed.The proportion of S2 pupils failing to achieve the most basic standards of writing has more than doubled in four years to 16 per cent.Last month Mr Swinney promised to hand headteachers sweeping new powers under the biggest education shake-up in seven decades. They will be given the final say over their schools’ curriculum and hiring staff while being made personally responsible for raising attainment.A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Curriculum for Excellence gives schools flexibility to offer different approaches to subject choices to meet the needs of pupils, and many schools have arrangements with other schools or colleges allowing young people to study courses that cannot be provided locally. “To give all our young people the best opportunity of success, we need to have the right number of skilled teachers in our schools.“Our deal with local authorities to maintain the pupil teacher ratio has seen an increase in teacher recruitment by councils and resulted in 253 more teachers last year.”. 00FastNews. New source of news.
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