4 Mar 2013

First Minister refuses to pledge pupils won’t lose out in new exam system

Why won’t Alex Salmond give a guarantee that no Scottish pupil will be disadvantaged with or by the introduction of the new exam system?

I asked the First Minister to issue a personal guarantee pupils won’t be disadvantaged as a result of the introduction of new qualifications as part of the Curriculum for Excellence. His refusal to give that guarantee is telling. He simply tried to avoid giving a direct answer to a direct question .If the First Minister is confident that his Ministers have acted properly, then surely he should guarantee that no Scottish pupil will be adversely affected by the introduction of the new examinations? I fully support Curriculum for Excellence, but it’s clear the SNP Government has been complacent in the management of the introduction of this important change.

The EIS survey has shown over half of the country’s teachers feel underprepared, that materials are not available and they are understandably worried about the effect this will have on their pupils. While I welcome any additional resources, it is the responsibility of the First Minister to make sure that teachers are properly resourced and the necessary materials are available. Scotland’s pupils and their teachers need to know the First Minster is willing to guarantee the success of the new system. Why won’t he give that simple guarantee?