Update 7/5/08 – the full speech and following questions are available here:
Did anyone else read the speech by Fiona Hyslop to parliament regarding the new Qualifications that will come in with CfE?
Certainly, there is not a huge amount of detail in Fiona Hyslop’s speech but what is there I think is quite reassuring. I certainly agree in principle to the introduction of standard literacy and numeracy tests, though I wait to see how they will be implemented. Again, her words on the qualifications at SCQF levels 4 and 5 are well chosen, and I would welcome a new, simplified course structure that will hopefully take the best bits of Standard Grade and Intermediate qualifications. Again, her reiteration of Higher remaining the “gold standard” and also the importance she places on Advanced Highers is welcome. Lots of people may question the removal of examined courses equivalent to Foundation, but is there really any point to testing pupils of this ability anyway?
Interesting also her comments about allowing pupils to bypass lower-level qualifications where it is clear they could do highers say, at the end of S3. The idea of a winter diet of exams also appeals to me in principle, though it probably has anyone involved in timetabling clutching their chest right now. 18 month higher – great idea, but again what about those who are perfectly capable of sitting it in 12 months? Can you run both options in one school
Anyway, that’s my $0.02 worth for the moment!