Warning over Scottish pupils’ future as survey shows most schools teaching S4 only six subjects

The  Telegraph is reporting that the majority of Scotland’s secondary schools are now only teaching their S4 pupils six subjects instead of the traditional gold standard of eight, according to a detailed survey that prompted warnings children’s prospects are being damaged.

The Telegraph can disclose that the most comprehensive report yet produced examining how the controversial Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is being implemented found 57 per cent of schools provide only six courses in S4 leading to a National qualification.

The report by Professor Jim Scott, who helped design the curriculum, found less only 32 per cent allowed the children to sit seven subjects and barely 11 per cent the traditional eight.

The eminent educationalist told the Telegraph that for the first time in 20 years Higher results are not improving and “that suggests that something below the Higher is not going right.”

His research, which analysed information provided by 224 of Scotland’s 360 state secondary schools, also found a “chaotic” postcode lottery of subjects provided in the first three years.

In an astonishing discovery, which undermines claims the curriculum’s implementation has been well planned, he counted 162 different course structures for S1 to S3 pupils across the 224 schools. This included 83 structures for those schools providing a six-course curriculum in S4.

Prof Scott, of the University of Dundee’s School of Education and Social Work, said “If you are doing six in S4 and one or two things go wrong, you no longer have five (Highers) to choose from.”

He said education statistics do not show that studying fewer subjects leads to better grades, prompting the question: “Who is benefiting from this?”

Read more Warning over Scottish pupils’ future as survey shows most schools teaching S4 only six subjects

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