Convoluted curriculum to be made ‘simpler and clearer’ for teachers

New ‘blueprint’ for education aims to reduce workload and increase school autonomy

Teachers in Scotland are to receive help cutting through an ever-growing forest of documentation related to their curriculum, a new “blueprint” for education in Scotland says.

The national Education Delivery Plan, announced by the SNP government this week, says ministers want to “significantly streamline” the range of resources around Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). By January 2017, it is hoped this will make CfE “much clearer and simpler” for teachers and parents.

The delivery plan sets out a wide range of other education priorities for the next few years.

One of the most eye-catching aspects is that it paves the way for devolving more decision-making and funding to schools and communities. This could mark a significant dilution of traditional local authority control in Scotland and a ”governance review” will be published this September.

Education secretary John Swinney said: “We will declutter the curriculum and strip away anything that creates unnecessary workload for teachers and learners, and we will take forward a new programme of reducing workload in schools.”

He added: “We must create the right structures to encourage and enable everyone to participate fully in school life. Our review of governance will explore all options to ensure we create the right balance of autonomy and accountability in our education system.”

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS teachin union, said teachers would welcome the emphasis on streamlining CfE and decluttering the primary curriculum.

But he was more circumspect about the plans to change school governance.

“If these proposals are about enhancing support for schools, and ensuring that teachers have a fair say in the allocation of resources for learning and teaching, then this will be welcome,” he said.

“However, if there is any suggestion of centralising control of schools and reducing the role of democratically elected local authorities in running education, that would be an issue of huge concern for the teaching profession.”

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