Shetland MSP Tavish Scott is to question why reintroducing standard school tests and league tables will help Shetland’s young people. He has been approached by local teachers concerned that the Scottish Government is turning its back on Curriculum for Excellence. This is designed to provide a broad education and support young people pursing apprenticeships, college or university education. Schools were previously ranked by standard Scotland-wide test results. The 1999-2007 Lib Dem-Lab Scottish Government removed these as there were no educational advantages. Now the SNP Government has said they will re-introduce a policy that did not work.
Tavish Scott is worried that school teachers across Shetland face a rising pressure of work. Primary teachers are now providing two languages at school. He said,
“Local teachers need support and stability. Yet they now face being ranked into league tables by the Scottish Government. Standard testing was a failed Tory policy now being reintroduced by the SNP Government. Why can’t the government in Edinburgh just let teachers teach? The government always want to interfere. Standard school testing is a backdoor approach to school tables and did not work before. It will impose an undue amount of stress on the young people we should be encouraging to enjoy learning.”
The Scottish Government have not made money available to Shetland schools to help with attainment standards. Shetland teachers have told Tavish Scott that attainment in local schools would be helped by new national resources. The SIC have also criticised the failure of the Scottish Government to properly fund local schools. Tavish Scott added, “Helping children from all backgrounds to do their best at school is the right thing to do. Some children do need more help. Specific attainment funding for schools is the right thing to do. Yet the Scottish Government have chosen to ignore the educational needs of Shetland and many other areas of Scotland. That is puzzling to both me and teachers across the islands. So standard school tests, school league tables and no funding to help with attainment is not a constructive or positive approach to education and I will be raising this in the Scottish Parliament.”