Tag Archives: News

CfE and Employers

Many people ask how business and employers are reacting to Curriculum for Excellence, which is why I thought it was worth sharing the press release below from Scottish Government on this very issue:


Big business backs changes to Scottish curriculum

Scottish businesses have backed changes implemented to the school curriculum saying it will help attract investment in Scotland and ultimately grow the economy. The new Curriculum for Excellence has been rolled out in all nursery, primary and secondary schools across the country since August. It aims to raise standards of learning and teaching, building on the strengths of the Scottish education system, and ensuring it’s relevant to the skills required for life and work in the 21st century.

Lauren McNicol, policy executive at CBI Scotland, said Curriculum for Excellence will deliver young people with the skills employers need for the future. She said: “Investment in learning and skills is vital if Scotland is to prosper and continue to attract investment and businesses from other parts of the UK and from overseas.
“We support the aspirations of Curriculum for Excellence which will develop four critical capacities central to the ability of businesses to grow the Scottish economy –employability skills such as problem solving, communications, teamwork.

“In particular, we recognise and support the aims of Determined to Succeed and expect that enterprise and enterprising education will be sustained within the framework of Curriculum for Excellence.”

Curriculum for Excellence places a focus on literacy and numeracy with all teachers now responsible for both within their own subjects. It also encourages teachers to make links with the real world to make learning more relevant with the world outside the classroom.

Employers regularly say their top five requirements in new recruits are literacy and numeracy skills, good communication skills, time management and problem solving abilities – all skills Curriculum for Excellence will help raise standards in.

New qualifications, the National 4 and 5, are also being developed to reflect the way the new curriculum is taught, and will offer pupils, parents and employers a streamlined system which is easier to understand. These will be implemented in 2013/14.

Banking giant HSBC employs more than 3,000 people across Scotland. Terry McKechnie, regional services manager is responsible for recruiting staff across the bank’s network of branches. He believes the changes will help young people link theory and knowledge with the hands-on skills also required in the work place.
He said: “From an employer’s perspective, I welcome the approach to learning taken by the new Curriculum for Excellence as it aims to give practical application to academic learning, which I think is extremely valuable.

“For us it’s extremely important that applicants can demonstrate the ability to listen and take on new information, as well as having good communication skills, to allow them to disseminate information to both customers and colleagues. Teamwork naturally plays a big part in this and is another key skill we look for.

“Beyond academic achievements, I like to see attributes such as integrity and tenaciousness and regularly look for involvement in a broad range of extra-curricular activities, such as volunteering. I believe this is extremely desirable as it shows the applicant has demonstrated a willingness to broaden their life experiences.”

The UK’s largest power network, EDF Energy, is also behind the changes. Paul Winkle, station director of Torness Power Station said: “At EDF Energy we look for candidates who show commitment and have an enthusiastic approach to development. Numeracy and literacy are important skills in all careers, but we are also looking for young people who understand the world they live in and strive for excellence.

“We need young people who have respect for individuals and their environment and are interested in leading the energy change.”

Internationally renowned educationalist have also hailed Curriculum for Excellence as a model for other countries to follow. Richard Gerver and Eric Booth have described Scotland as a world leader in creative education.

What’s On?

What’s On? is an eduBuzz site with a difference. It’s a single place where any registered eduBuzz (WordPress blog system) user can post their news, just like sticking a note on your noticeboard.

You just log in with your current eduBuzz WordPress details then post your news. If you’re wanting to keep up to date with what people are posting you can subscribe to the RSS feed. If you don’t know what an RSS feed is, the BBC do a great job of explaining it.

Education Secretary reveals 10 point plan

teacherA ten point plan to drive forward the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence was unveiled by Education Secretary Michael Russell today.  Mr Russell confirmed that the Scottish Government will put a package of support in place – including an additional £3 million – to help make sure every school is ready to implement the new curriculum in the autumn term.  The package will put in place:

  • Tailored support for any secondary school which needs additional help to be ready for the autumn term. Heads have been invited to tell local authorities and the Scottish Government what help they need. This could include help with CPD, additional materials, expert advice or drawing on the experience of teachers from neighbouring schools who have already fully prepared for the new curriculum
  • Additional practical materials for teachers to support implementation and ensure clarity on what is expected
  • £3 million funding for councils to help support quality assurance and moderation of assessment. This will see a system of checks to ensure that the assessment of pupils is being applied consistently and in line with national standards
  • A proposal for literacy and numeracy units to be built into English and maths qualifications to simplify the system for formally recognising these skills which will be developed across the curriculum
  • ‘Excellence Groups’ bringing subject teachers and experts in individual fields – such as the sciences – together to support excellence in education in their subject area and across the curriculum
  • HMIE work with education authorities and schools to support their implementation of Curriculum for Excellence with effective innovation promoted through inspections
  • A series of events to allow headteachers to share experience and best practice
  • A greater role for parents in managing the new curriculum with the National Parent Forum Scotland invited to nominate a member to sit on the management board
  • Additional materials for pupils and parents explaining the new curriculum. Mr Russell will also invite the National Parent Forum Scotland and pupil councils to play a leading role in improving communication
  • A group, convened by Mr Russell, made up of stakeholders and those with an interest in education to advise on future development of Curriculum for Excellence

Mr Russell said:

“I have been listening to the concerns that have been expressed recently around the new curriculum. I have also taken into account the advice of the Curriculum for Excellence Management Board on the additional support which is required. I have acknowledged those concerns and that advice and today I am acting to address them.

“Schools across Scotland, such as St Mungo’s Academy that I’ve visited today, are well underway with their preparations for Curriculum for Excellence.

“They are responding to the challenges of educating their pupils for a modern world requiring new ways of learning, new skills, creativity and innovation. Many good examples of this are already happening in our schools and change is well underway.

“I want to make sure we harness and drive forward this momentum to deliver the best possible education for our young people. That’s why I am announcing a comprehensive action plan to build confidence, provide support and make sure every school in Scotland is ready to deliver the new curriculum in August.

“I have asked each local authority and school to let me know if they will be ready for implementation in August, for those who are not we will offer support. We will work with HMIE and experienced teachers and headteachers to make sure no school is left struggling.

“We will focus our additional expert support and help where it is needed – for schools and teachers who want a bit more but who also know how important these changes are. This could include practical, teacher-led support to ensure every school is fully prepared.

“I believe it is important that literacy and numeracy are formally recognised, however I also understand concerns about the practicality of having a separate portfolio-based qualification.

“To simplify the system we propose that literacy and numeracy units be built into English and maths courses at SCQF levels 3 to 5 – units that adult learners will be able to take as free standing units to boost their skills. This means employers and others have a clear indication of attainment in literacy and numeracy, whilst making the system clearer and easier to understand.

“I recently announced the new Assessment Framework, and said that would be backed up by resources, today I am confirming an additional £3 million for Local Authorities to help fund the quality assurance and moderation system that underpins the Framework.

“This will all be backed up with further support for schools. We have listened to teachers’ concerns that they need more support and more clarity around exactly what will be expected under the new curriculum. We will provide that clarity and provide additional support, including seminars to enable headteachers to share their experiences and best practice and work with experts to make sure all our curriculum areas are the gold standard in that area.

“What’s more we will give parents a greater say in overseeing the curriculum by inviting the National Parent Forum Scotland to nominate a member of the management board and to work with us to ensure the information we send to parents is as clear as it can be.

“I believe this comprehensive package of measures will make sure Curriculum for Excellence delivers on its full potential and makes sure every child in Scotland benefits from the improved education it offers.”

Mr Russell will discuss the ten point action plan with the Curriculum for Excellence management board when he meets them on April 22, 2010.