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SSTA request for concerns for Mike Russell

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by therightchoice?, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. therightchoice?

    therightchoice? New commenter

    I already have a several page list of my concerns over cfe but sure I've missed some points.....what would you put?

    At a recent meeting with the Cabinet Secretary, Michael Russell, we raised the issue of preparation for CfE and for the new N4&5 exams.

    Mr Russell assures us that support is available, both in the form of preparation and development time and SQA prepared courses.

    Correspondence from members suggests that this support is not being offered to teachers who find there is no cover to allow time for development work and no places available on the small number of courses offered.

    Mr Russell has asked that we provide examples of this problem. We can anonymise responses but will have to provide names of schools and authorities where the problems exist.

    This is our opportunity to provide evidence for what we all know is fact; we are not ready, promised support is not being provided, courses places are oversubscribed by 200%, and teachers are not being given time to develop new courses.

    In addition evidence is emerging of growing concern among members of Qualification Design Teams but, as yet, there is no clear picture of how widespread this is.

    We would welcome information about:

    Courses oversubscribed (providing course name)
    Requests for development time not being granted (no of days and reason not granted)
    Problems evident at QDT or other groups you attend .
     
  2. I have emailed my response but a bit worried about getting in trouble and my name being mentioned as I fear it may be quite obvious who I am!
     
  3. therightchoice?

    therightchoice? New commenter

    I'm the same and many of my colleagues are not responding because of this but fear if we keep quiet he'll be able to say he's justified in his claims that we are ready for the national4/5 exams!

    Just wish I could concentrate on teaching the children in front of me rather than jumping through the many hoops put in my way! It's taken me 3 years to become jaded with the profession....really want a career break until this nightmare is over!!!
     
  4. Sorry Mr Russell, I'm too busy trying to deal with our increased class sizes that have now gone up to 32 and contain everything from S2 pupils who could easily sit Int 2, to those who can barely string a whole sentence together. Not to mention the autistic child who likes to throw books across the room in a random fashion.
     
  5. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    I was informed yesterday that HMIE District Inspectors are about to have talks with local authority senior education staff. The talks will focus on a "deep audit" of the current status of secondary schools re CfE implementation.

    It's now or never, sh*t or bust. Teachers with concerns MUST flag up those concerns. If they are not wiling to do so within their own school then they MUST use their union to do so. Information supplied to the SSTA will be anonymised but it will be used.

    My focus is my pupils. Last year, to those pupils preparing for the "senior phase", my department offered fully developed Intermediate courses supported by well established course materials and a robust system of assessment supported by NABs. This year, (for S2's completing course choice) we may have to offer completely new courses with no course materials in place and no system of assessment at all. Actually, it's easier for my department. There is sufficient concordance between the new courses and Intermediate courses such that we should be able to "wing it". WE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WING IT! My colleagues who teach Standard Grade in other schools, will be faced with ground zero. Furthermore, if the school has taken the sensible decision of allowing course choice at end of S2 (to give maximum flexibility in terms of numbers of subjects in S3 -4) THESE COURSES WILL HAVE TO BEGIN IN JUNE, ONLY 3 MONTHS AWAY!

    Sorry about the shouting but these points need to be emphasised! If you are an SSTA member, please make a return to the union and help us sort out this mess.

    In passing, I would like to point out that, in my view, the SSTA's concerns go further than quibbling about the date of the exams. The EIS seems to think (I'm sure Getactive will correct me if I'm wrong) that it's just a matter of allowing a bit more time for teachers to get used to the new system. The SSTA has , and always has had, fundamental concerns about ...

    Broad general education S1 - S3 leading to a narrowing of subject choice in S4 - S5
    The lack of ANY external assessment at N4
    The possible negative impact of the new N5 exams on Higher curricula in various subjects.
     
  6. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    Corrected it for you.

    No one should be in any doubt that SSTA has always had fundamental concerns about CfE. If every secondary teacher belonged to the SSTA, we would not be in this mess now. The EIS rep on the CfE Management Board is on record as supporting the concept of the broad general education S1 - S3, and the absence of any national certification for N4. The Scottish Government has made much of this support. That same EIS MB representative is now the EIS General Secretary designate. His credibility in voicing his members' more fundamental concerns about the programme is going to be somewhat eroded!
     
  7. I think the SSTA are undoubtedly more active in communicating with members and seeking to get their views heard...but in terms of actually changing things? We're striking over pensions but it's clear from talking to any group of teachers that most see any strike as a stand against all the other things going on just now - McCormac, CfE, SOD - and it would be good to put some of that feeling on an official basis.
     
  8. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    My point exactly. I must have missed the memo from the union about refusing to do any CfE related work. In the meantime,we have all been busy writing courses(something we never have to do) and there is more looming on the horizon. It's all very well to say that you can't do it because you have exceeded your 35 hours (the advice of my union rep) but you have to be a very confident person to say that,as this will open you to scrutiny about everything you do.
     
  9. The thing which has irritated me beyond belief is the duplication of work as each department in each school struggles to create the same stuff. Then there's the usual LA trick of saying, "Do it your way, do it your way, freedom for schools and teachers, do it your way, just get it done your way...actually, no, now that you've spent hours and hours doing it your own way we are now going to impose our way. Scrap all that stuff you've been slaving over for two years and do this instead."
     
  10. Ha, ha........ I could cry about this. How many times have we had to reinvent the wheel for the LA to simply come up with their own brand of nonsense for us all to follow. I am in primary where it is slightly easier to implement CfE in theory than in scondaries, you have my every sympathy in this struggle over the exams. The NAR for primary aged children is equally sh*t.
     

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