Majority of Scottish teachers struggling to prepare for new flagship exams

The Telegraph is reporting claims that teachers are struggling to cope with the Scottish Government’s new flagship exams and urgently need extra materials to help pupils who are about to sit them for the first time…

Around 60 per cent of teachers said in a survey that they were not confident of their ability to deliver the courses, with nearly 80 per cent saying they were not ready to assess pupils for the National 4 and 5 tests.

The exams in May, introduced as part of the Curriculum for Excellence reforms, will replace Standard Grades.

But according to “anxious” secondary teachers, they have not been given the materials necessary to prepare fourth year pupils.

Alan McKenzie, acting general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association, which represents around 8,500 teachers, said its recent survey of members revealed a level of anxiety he had never witnessed before.

He called on Mike Russell, the Education Minister, and the Scottish Qualification Authority, to “bite the bullet” and act immediately to offer more support…

Mr McKenzie welcomed a promise from Mr Russell that the government would provide “every iota” of help required, but added: “I would say if there is Scottish Government commitment and money available let’s get something immediately out to schools giving a breadth of rehearsal material to put everyone’s minds at rest.

“It would not be beyond the wit of the Scottish Qualifications Authority to get some emergency materials out there. Scottish teachers are asking for more help so let him now deliver by going into schools and determining exactly what the dissatisfaction is about.”

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, the country’s biggest teaching union, said it continued to raise teachers’ concerns with the SQA and the Scottish Government…

It has also emerged that parents and teachers have criticised some guides for the exams.

Online reviews for the £10-a-time specimen papers and guides include complaints that the material is “confusing and irrelevant”, contains “basic spelling errors” and even uses “old-fashioned French”.

However, a spokesman for Hodder Gibson, which produces the papers, said it had received an “overwhelmingly positive” response to the material…

More at: Majority of Scottish teachers struggling to prepare for new flagship exams

If you or your child is affected by this change to the exams in Scotland please give us your views and experiences of how it is looking at the moment in the comments or via twitter…

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