Curriculum for Excellence is a major shift change in the way we think about education and learning. Initially, the four capacities were prominent, then experience and outcomes, now it’s nationals. I do agree with the SELMAS brains trust panel that the essence of the four capacities has been lost. Furthermore, it seems scandalous that schools are busying themselves developing materials for national qualifications when it is likely that Education Scotland, SQA and private publishing companies are likely to produce materials that can be used in classrooms. However, materials for the broad general education have been out on hold, despite the fact that every secondary school in Scotland could have a different BGE. Is our BGE broken?
Every new initiative in education is about leading change. Our leaders need to be empowered to maximise their resources fully, including buildings, materials and most importantly staff. Major changes in education and budget cuts are meaning that staff are continuing to be stretched and more is being demanded of them, thus meaning that there is less flexibility and creativity within the sector. I feel that being given time to be creative is absolutely critical in providing an education service.
Leadership at all levels is key. Pupils, parents, teachers, principal teachers, deputes, head teachers and education officers all have a part to play in ensuring that cfe is successful. One thing is for sure, cfe is the first of many challenges to face Scottish education in the next 10 years. Some attention and thought is needed on: how schools are accountable, local authority control, furthering professionalism, conditions of service including career structures, and development of the next phase of curriculum for excellence.