If colleges of further education can do it why can’t schools?

I had a very interesting meeting on Friday with someone who used to work in the field of further education.  We were discussing A Curriculum for Excellence and the pressure on Scottish education system to have external examinations in order to create a level “playing field” in terms of equality of standards.

As we chatted about this I referred to my Scottish Certificate of Educationproposal where schools might be able to certificate students’ achievements at the end of S3 and for this to be externally validated.

My colleague then described how colleges of Further Education can present students for Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas which in the Scottish National Qualifications Framework have more value than Advanced Highers, e.g. it’s possible to proceed straight to third year at university if you have the appropriate Higher National Diploma.

If universities are prepared to accept HNDs which are not subject to external regulation as we know it in terms of Highers and Advanced Highers, why can’t schools or local authorities be given similar status to award certificates?

3 thoughts on “If colleges of further education can do it why can’t schools?

  1. …which is exactly what happens in Finland. If we are so keen, as a country, to benchmark ourselves against the Finns in education, perhaps we should think seriously about wholesale reform rather than just tinkering with the existing system which I for one would argue is not really fit for purpose anymore…

  2. Interesting comment Don. I’m weighing up our response to the assessment qualification and I think there are real possibilities for either school or atuthority certificates in attainment and achievement at the end of S3 as part of the S3 report which will now take on huge significance.

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