School and college teacher recommendations: consultation analysis

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills consulted with the school and college teaching profession to seek their views on the recommendations from the National Discussion on Education and the Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment. This report sets out the findings.

Are there any recommendations which you disagree with?

Respondents were asked to select if there were any recommendations from the Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment that they disagree with. Respondents were allowed to select as many recommendations as they wanted. The recommendations are ranked from most to least disagreement, according to the responses, in Table 2.

Table 2 . Are there any recommendations which you disagree with?
Recommendations Response percent Response total
Assessment (Reduce the number of external examinations in the Senior Phase; increase the breadth of assessment methods including digital assessment methods, and remove external assessment up to SCQF level 5.) 57.3% 719
Project Learning (Include the Project Learning element as a prerequisite for the award of the Diploma. It is an entitlement and must be available to all learners.) 44.0% 552
Personal Pathway (Include the Personal Pathway element as a prerequisite for the award of the Diploma. It is an entitlement and must be available to all learners.) 38.6% 485
Adopt the Scottish Diploma of Achievement 38.2% 479
Digital profiles and digital assessment methods 28.4% 356
Programmes of Learning (Should remain an important aspect of the Senior Phase and will be a prerequisite for the award of the Diploma. There should be a reduction in external assessment across the Senior Phase.) 26.5% 333
Modularised Courses 20.6% 258
Parity of Esteem (Qualifications at the same level in Scotland should use the SCQF Level followed by the name of the qualification) 17.8% 223
National Monitoring and Accountability systems (Require national monitoring and accountability systems to gather information on the breadth of achievements recognised within the Scottish Diploma of Achievement 16.2% 203
Workforce and Professional Learning (An expanded programme of professional learning should be developed to support the changes to qualifications and assessment) 7.8% 98

Below, further detail is provided on why respondents disagree with the recommendations.


Recommendations: Reduce the number of external examinations in the Senior Phase; increase the breadth of assessment methods including digital assessment methods, and remove external assessment up to SCQF level 5.

57% of responses disagreed with the recommendations made on assessment.

Many respondents argued that pupils will be ill-prepared to study Highers, or to continue into Higher Education, if external examinations are removed at SCQF Level 5. They argued that external examinations support pupils with the transition between National 5 and Highers, and between school and university. They were concerned that pupils will struggle if their first experience of sitting an external examination is at Higher level and that this will cause pupils unnecessary stress.

“National 5 exams are seen as good preparation for progression to Higher course. Without this level of exam then young people may face Level 6 Higher level exams as their first full exam experience.” – High school teachers (group response)

“Concerned that students will only complete exams in Higher when it matters the most (for uni and college) and will be ill equipped and not ready for that pressure.” – High school teachers (group response)

Respondents were also concerned about whether internal assessments can be marked consistently. They questioned whether a standardised and robust marking criteria for other forms of assessment is feasible given that teachers may have bias (including unconscious bias) towards their pupils or be influenced by attainment targets. They feared that this would have the greatest impact on the most disadvantaged children and young people. Many pointed to their experience during the COVID-19 pandemic where a model of teacher judgement was used instead of external examinations. They said that this resulted in inconsistencies between schools, with many pupils receiving, what they consider, “inflated grades”. They argued, therefore, that external examinations are the fairest way to measure assess pupils.

“Reduce external examinations will increase inconsistencies between schools, this will lead to unfairness and the most disadvantaged and those from the poorest backgrounds will be hurt the most. External examinations although are not perfect are still the best and fairest way to assess. This could not have been clearer during the year of results during Covid where there was no exams as scores went through the roof. This is always going to happen with staff under pressure to get good results for various reasons.” – High school teacher

“Internal assessment will never be rigorous, especially when there are competitive league tables of schools and pressure from SMT [Senior management team] to maximise ‘attainment’, even when it is an empty measure. Verification is a bureaucratic nightmare and is never rigorous. It can never replace standardised exams.” – High school teachers (group response

Respondents were concerned that the removal of external examinations will devalue National 5 qualifications. They pointed to their experience of delivering National 4 courses. Some argued that pupils feel that National 4 courses lack credibility which has a negative impact on their motivation to study. They suggested that National 4 qualifications are not valued by employers, colleges, and universities due to the lack of external assessment. Respondents were concerned that National 5 qualifications would also lack credibility if external assessment is removed. They argued that Highers will be the only valued qualification, thus disadvantaging pupils who do not study Highers.

“Our current experience of delivering internally assessed courses is not positive - all staff would agree that setting and maintaining national standards is highly problematic and learners often feel under-valued due to the low credibility of the course.” – High school teachers (group response)

“National 4 is not valued by students, employers, colleges or universities due to the lack of an external exam. Teachers across Scotland have asked for an external assessment for N4 since its inception but have been ignored. N5 qualification will become worthless if we change this to modular based. We will be left with Highers as the only valued qualification.” – High school teachers (group response)

Respondents were also concerned about the impact the reduction of external assessments would have on teachers. They envisaged that the use of internal assessment methods will vastly increase teacher workload and stress. They were not confident that this has been fully considered in the report and suggested that there would need to be a significant decrease in teacher contact time for these recommendations to be feasible.

“…this means that teachers will go back to having to assess and mark and this increases teacher workload, it will then also require moderation, which again increases teacher workload. This needs to be thought about. As it is the teachers that again will be accountable for delivering this. This would be okay, if teacher contact time is reduced.” – Teacher (school type not specified)

“The concern that workload will increase due to the burden of assessment falling on classroom teachers who will be expected to undertake this without adequate time or remuneration.” – High school teachers (group response)

Among the responses were also some respondents who did not fully disagree with the proposal but did disagree with some elements of it. Largely, these respondents supported a change which would see equal weighting between internal and external assessment, as long as some form of external examination remained.

“There should be a combination of ongoing and final assessment, to allow for continuous assessment through the year and then a final examination that would sum up all the knowledge gathered during the academic year. The final grade would be made 50% of continuous assessment and 50% final examination, to give the students all the opportunities to show their potential." – High school teacher

Others argued that it would be more appropriate to look at the need for external assessment on a subject-by-subject basis. Teachers of STEM subjects were particularly opposed to reduction of external assessment for their subjects but largely agreed it may be appropriate for other subjects.

“I am certain there will be some subject areas that will welcome this; but for my own subject area (maths), I am not convinced that removing all external assessment will lead to an equitable and fair process of awarding qualifications.” – High school teacher

Project Learning

Recommendation: Include the Project Learning element as a prerequisite for the award of the Diploma. It is an entitlement and must be available to all learners.

44% of responses disagreed with the recommendation to introduce Project Learning.

The primary issue was that respondents did not feel sufficiently informed on the details of Project Learning. They had numerous questions about how Project Learning will work in practice and need clarity before they can support the recommendation.

“What subject area is responsible for this? Are all subject areas responsible? Is there one key person responsible for the marking of this - will this be done internally or externally? What time will be given to this? How will staff be trained to deliver this? What resources will be available to support? A lot of this coursework appears to be done electronically - what will be done to improve ICT access in schools where not all pupils have their own devices? At present it is not that there is a disagreement with these areas as such, rather that further information is required in terms of a breakdown of what each element entails before further feedback can be given.” – High school teachers (group response)

Relatedly, there were many concerns about the practical logistics of delivering Project Learning – namely staffing and timetabling. There were concerns that the responsibility for delivery will fall on teachers of Social Subjects given that projects are likely to focus on historical, social, geographic, economic, and political challenges. They noted the implications this would have for timetabling and requested clearer information on how this would be managed.

“For Project Learning, the examples offered are almost all either Social Subjects based or politically driven. Only a small number of staff have expertise in these areas, and you cannot timetable 300 learners in larger schools to all undertake Social studies based IDL [interdisciplinary learning]…There are also major staffing and timetabling implications…” – High school head teacher

Many respondents also said they needed clarity on how Project Learning will be assessed. There was confusion over whether the project would be marked or graded and, if so, how this would be measured and assessed fairly and consistently across schools. If the project is not graded, respondents argued that Project Learning would become a “tick-box exercise” with little credibility.

“If it is ungraded as well but is essential to pass - it could manifest in schools as a tick the box course that staff have to 'get pupils through' to get their certificate. This then robs it of the purpose of which it is intended.” – High school teachers (group response)

“This has the potential to be a mess. It needs to have clear parameters for success that can be measured otherwise many projects will be highly unfocused. This would make it a very poor candidate to form part of a qualification that has any integrity.” – High school teacher

Many respondents strongly opposed the group-based element of Project Learning. They were concerned that not all pupils would take equal responsibility for the project. This would mean that some pupils would inevitably take on a greater share of the work but would receive the same credit as pupils who did less work.

“Group based learning is open to inconsistency in workload. External issues such as absence, peer relationships and available resources could have a potential negative impact on an individual's achievement.” – High school teachers (group response)

Finally, respondents also outlined their concerns on the implications for pupil equity. They argued that Project Learning would disadvantage pupils from lower socio-economic backgrounds who have fewer resources and less support. They believed that this could potentially widen the poverty-related attainment gap.

“Project Learning allows an alternative assessment model that must be welcomed but it poses real issues with equity if it is not managed and monitored rigorously. It will be open to abuse and could lead to the widening of the attainment gap. Children and young people from privileged backgrounds could be at an advantage if 'controlled conditions' for assessment are not implemented effectively by teachers, PTs [principal teachers], school leadership and the new qualifications body.” – Teacher (school type not specified)

Personal Pathway

Recommendation: Include the Personal Pathway element as a prerequisite for the award of the Diploma. It is an entitlement and must be available to all learners.

39% of responses disagreed with the recommendation to introduce the Personal Pathway. The primary reason for this was concerns around how the Personal Pathway can be delivered equitably.

Many respondents pointed out that the Personal Pathway could potentially disadvantage pupils from lower socio-economic backgrounds and widen the poverty-related attainment gap. They argued that pupils from wealthier backgrounds have greater access to extra-curricular activities and are already more likely to take part in activities, such as music and sport. They suggested that there are fewer opportunities in disadvantaged areas and, where opportunities do exist, this would place a financial burden on parents and guardians.

“There are concerns about equality of access for the personal pathway - children and young people from middle class families, attending schools in more affluent areas, have a far greater range of opportunities and there will be pressure on teaching staff in schools in deprived areas to offer 'extra-curricular' activities on a voluntary basis.” – High school teachers (group response)

“My worry for the personal pathway is that it will increase the gap between the rich and the poor. The ones who have money will have access to any personal pathway they wish. Those who do not may be limited in their choice of personal pathway due to finances.” – High school teacher

Respondents also stressed that the Personal Pathway could disadvantage pupils with more difficult home lives, such as looked after or care experienced young people, young carers, young people with Adverse Childhood Experiences, or who have parents who are disengaged with school. It was also noted that it may be more difficult for neurodiverse and disabled pupils to access and participate in extra-curricular activities.

“Personal pathway will exclude huge numbers of students who lack the domestic or social support necessary for this to succeed. It could amount to a middle class monopoly.” – High school teacher

“How do we ensure that young people from deprived, care experienced and vulnerable backgrounds have access to opportunities that will provide the same quality of reflection and development as those young people from affluent backgrounds? We see these challenges within the current work experience opportunities within the senior phase and often young people with parental networks will gain access to better quality experiences, which in turn impact upon personal statements for university. Although, not graded, this could become a selection criteria for universities and employers.” – Further Education teachers (group response)

Respondents also pointed to the socio-geographical disparities which may disadvantage pupils. It was argued that pupils living in rural areas will have access to fewer opportunities for extra-curricular activities, due to lack of services and transport. They argued that the Personal Pathway favours pupils in urban areas and bigger cities where there a more opportunities and a wider range of activities on offer.

“As with all aspects of education, despite the best intentions of schools and teachers, social, economic and geographical inequalities exist and will continue to exist. Urban schools, and pupils therein, will have different and greater access to services and experiences that rural schools cannot match. Equally, rural schools will have very different opportunities.” – High school teacher

Some respondents were also critical of the added pressure that the Personal Pathway would place on pupils. They explained that pupils are already under significant pressure to achieve academically and the added requirement to participate in extra-curricular activities would be detrimental to pupil wellbeing. Respondents argued that National Qualifications should be focused on school-based achievement and that the Personal Pathway would impinge on pupil’s home lives and free time. Some respondents also argued that pupils should be free to pursue interests and hobbies simply for enjoyment and without the expectation that this must also be a measure of attainment.


“…Many young people enjoy sports or hobbies as a leisurely activity. The expectation that they 'have to do it' to achieve their diploma, takes something that should be fun and turns it into another commitment. Furthermore, some young people don't develop a passion for a sport, art, entrepreneurship, until they are older and have had more experience. If it is essential for them to have a personal pathway though, we will force them into something just to 'tick the box'.” – High school teacher

“Formal recognition of achievements outside of school or college has a potential appeal, but it could create additional pressure on learners to take on extracurricular activity, especially the kinds which can be measured and more easily lead to recognition (such as those organised by the uniformed organisations)… It could also extend a pressure to achieve into extracurricular activities, when there are developmental reasons to believe that it is healthy to encourage children and young people to have external pursuits where the principal goals are not achievement but other benefits – health and wellbeing, social interaction, exploration and creativity – which are harder to record and quantify” – High school teacher

Other reasons for disagreeing with the recommendation were largely logistical. Many respondents felt that the recommendation was too vague and lacked the necessary detail of how the Personal Pathway will be delivered in practice. Concerns included: the impact it would have on staff workload; how it would be fitted in to the timetable; whether there are sufficient financial and digital resources to support pupils achieve this element of the diploma; and how the Personal Pathway would be assessed consistently across the country.

Adopt the Scottish Diploma of Achievement

Recommendation: Adopt the Scottish Diploma of Achievement as the new approach to qualifications and assessment. The SDA (the Diploma) should contain three elements: Programmes of Learning, Project Learning and the Personal Pathway.

38% of responses disagreed with the recommendation to adopt the Scottish Diploma of Achievement. These responses highlight a need for more information, clarity, and transparency in the communication of the SDA. They raised a number of concerns related to inequality, teacher workload, practicality, and the perceived value of the diploma.

Many respondents expressed concerns about the lack of clear information regarding the structure, assessment, and implementation of the SDA. Questions were raised about: how the specific components (particularly, Project Learning and Personal Pathway) will be delivered in practice; what the curriculum will look like; who will be responsible for assessment; and how the changes would be communicated effectively to pupils, parents, teachers, Further and Higher Education institutions and prospective employers.

“Information relating to the structure of Scottish Diploma of Achievement is not clear enough at present for us to be confident that it would benefit all pupils…” – High school teachers (group response)

Respondents were also worried about the practicality of implementing the SDA, noting potential challenges such as lack of time, teacher workload, and insufficient resources and funding. Concerns were also raised about the feasibility of delivering the proposed Project Learning aspect, particularly in relation to staffing and timetabling.

“These will all result in a significant amount of additional workload for teachers and my own personal feelings would be that I would leave the profession if they come in. It would not be the job I signed up for 8 years ago, I will not be alone in this feeling.” – High school teacher

Concerns were raised about the potential widening of the attainment gap, especially with regards to the Personal Pathway, where students from wealthier backgrounds might have an advantage. They noted a number of potential challenges for students from less privileged backgrounds, including limited access to extracurricular activities and resources. A few respondents also argued that independent schools would opt to follow England’s National Curriculum and qualifications if the SDA was not considered rigorous enough, putting these students at a further advantage.

“The SDA sounds good but colleagues are struggling to see impact - again, would those with the most home support not end up more advantaged again?” – High school teachers (group response)

Some respondents expressed scepticism about the perceived lack of academic rigor and value in the proposed diploma, with concerns raised about it becoming viewed as a "meaningless" or “easy” qualification. Respondents, thus, raised questions about the value and recognition of the diploma, both within Scotland and in comparison to other examination systems, when applying to universities or colleges and applying for jobs.

“I feel the Scottish diploma is a meaningless qualification which will hold no weighting outwith secondary school. Colleges, universities, work places want learners with recognisable qualifications that will lead them into their chosen pathway.” – High school teacher

Digital profiles and digital assessment methods

Recommendation: All learners should have a digital profile to allow them to record achievements in Programmes of Learning, Project Learning and Personal Pathway. The profile will be owned by the learner. Digital technologies should be used to expand assessment methods.

28% of responses disagreed with the recommendation to introduce digital profiles and assessment methods. These respondents had a range of concerns relating to digital access, infrastructure, teacher workload and digital ethics.

Concerns were raised about the potential digital divide, with some students lacking access to digital devices and/or internet at home. This was seen as a significant barrier to implementing digital profiles in an equitable way, with respondents emphasising the potential for digitalisation to widen existing socio-economic inequalities.

“In more deprived communities such as the community I teach in, COVID and lockdown clearly showed the lack of ICT access of a significant proportion of the young people in Scotland.” – High school teacher

Similarly, respondents noted the lack of adequate IT infrastructure in some schools which would, thus, hinder the successful implementation of digital profiles and assessments. Issues included unreliable internet, outdated computers, and limited access to devices. It was stressed that there are significant disparities between schools, with many schools and communities not having equal access to digital resources. This was seen as potentially exacerbating existing issues relating to the poverty-related attainment gap. Respondents, thus, called for substantial investment in hardware and software across schools.

“There is not parity of ICT access across a school, between schools within a Local Authority, or across schools in Scotland. This will require billions of pounds and a robust ICT back-up to protect pupil data.” – High school teacher

Many respondents raised questions about the practical use and purpose of digital profiles. It was felt that the value of digital profiles and their application in further education and employment was unclear. Respondents argued that digital profiles would be extremely time consuming for pupils but would deliver very few benefits for them.

“They often are intended to reduce the workload however they usually end up being paper based and then being transposed onto the digital forum. Who are these profiles intended for? If it is for application to further education, surely the children's achievements can be shared directly from the SQA (or whatever it becomes) and if it is intended for future employers, we have our doubts about how or indeed if, they would ever be accessed.” – Primary school teachers (group response)

Some respondents also reflected on the ethical considerations in the use of digital technology, including Artificial Intelligence. Concerns were raised about plagiarism, data security, over-automation, and an over-reliance on technology.

Programmes of Learning

Recommendation: Programmes of learning should remain an important aspect of the Senior Phase and will be a prerequisite for the award of the Diploma. There should be a reduction in external assessment across the Senior Phase.

27% of responses disagreed with the recommendation that programmes of learning should remain an important aspect of the Senior phase, with a reduction of external assessment. These respondents were in unanimous agreement on the importance of retaining programmes of learning as an essential component of the SDA. However, they strongly disagreed with the recommendation to reduce external assessment in the Senior Phase for the same reasons set out in the above section on assessment.

“We agree that 'Programmes of Learning' are an essential, non-negotiable element of the Diploma of Achievement but we have significant concerns about the proposal to reduce external assessment in senior phase, in particular the proposal to remove external assessment up to SCQF level 5 and from S4.” – High school teachers (group response)

Some respondents were also concerned about, what they consider, the SDA’s lack of focus on learning and teaching. They believe that programmes of learning should be the central focus of the curriculum, with less weight placed on the Project Learning and Personal Pathway elements of the SDA.

“While we’re glad to hear that learning in the normal manner will be retained, it’s interesting to see it relegated to a third of what such a diploma would require; one would naturally hope that Learning and Teaching would be at the heart of it all, and would outweigh other factors in terms of achievement.” – High school teachers (group response)

Modularised Courses

Recommendation: Programmes of Learning should be organised into modules to allow learners maximum flexibility to build credit as they progress through courses. SCQF Level 6 Higher courses should be progressive allowing learners to build credits over two years.

21% of responses disagreed with the recommendation to introduce modularised courses.

Many respondents were concerned about the potential impact on teacher workload. Continuous internal assessment was anticipated to increase the burden on teachers. What is more, respondents argued that there is a lack of clarity regarding how modularised courses will be delivered, timetabled, and assessed and how teachers would manage pupils at different stages within the same classroom.

“The more options and choice available, the more staff hours will be required to make that a viable option. Unless the plan is to vastly increase staff numbers, this will only lead to increased pressure on staff, burnout and frustration, and people leaving the profession after struggling vainly against unreasonable demands.” – High school teacher

Respondents also argued that modularisation would increase, rather than decrease, the number of assessments, thus causing undue pressure on pupils and teachers. Several respondents also pointed to the potential for recreating issues that led to the removal of unit assessments in the past.

“When we previously had "unit passes" when N5/H etc. were brought in many pupils only achieved unit passes and didn't manage a full course award. Since the requirement for unit passes was removed more pupils have achieved a full course award.” – High school teachers (group response)

Concerns arose about the uniformity and standardisation of modularised courses across schools and local authorities. Questions were raised about who creates the modules, whether they are consistent nationwide, and how external stakeholders, such as universities and employers, will assess the value of modules if they are not standardised.

Some respondents also questioned the effectiveness of modularisation in ensuring a comprehensive understanding of a subject area. There are concerns that it may encourage short-term cramming and hinder the development of foundational knowledge of the subject.

“Some staff were concerned that a module approach may lead to the children only being taught modular content with the end of module assessment in mind and so it would be as if they were being 'taught to the test'.” – Primary school teachers (group response)

Parity of esteem

Recommendation: Enhance parity of esteem between types of qualifications by recognising as equal all qualifications at the same SCQF level with the same credit points. Qualifications at the same level in Scotland, should use the SCQF Level followed by the name of the qualification in promotional literature and in recording of results for example, Chemistry - SCQF level 6 – Higher.

18% of responses disagreed with the recommendation to enhance parity of esteem between different types of qualifications.

While some respondents did not necessarily disagree with the concept of “parity of esteem”, they were sceptical that academic and vocational qualifications would be considered equal by employers, further and higher education institutes and wider society. Respondents believed that this will be a particular problem for non-examined qualifications, such as National Progression Awards (NPA), when they are compared to more academic qualifications such as Highers.

“A nice idea in theory, but hard to legislate for, as people will make up their own minds on the value of different courses irrespective of what you call them. We would imagine that higher and further education entry requirements will determine the public’s view of these.” – High school teachers (group response)

Many of the respondents felt it would be challenging to align this recommendation with the expectations of universities, both in Scotland and beyond. They argued that universities were unlikely to change their entry requirements and would still favour Highers over other qualifications. They raised concerns that young people may feel they have been misadvised if vocational qualifications are promoted as equivalent to academic qualifications, but universities do not recognise them in terms of entry requirements. Respondents stressed that this recommendation cannot be implemented without the backing of universities.

“If we try to elevate non-examined NPAs to the same status as Highers and market them to pupils and parents as such, yet universities don't consider non-examined certificates as working towards university entry requirements, aren't we betraying the trust of our young people? The universities need to be fully on board if we are going to go down this road or we are wasting the time and potential of many of our learners.” – High school teachers (group response)

Some respondents called for a clear distinction between academic and vocational qualifications. They questioned whether vocational qualifications can ever truly hold the same academic value as traditional qualifications. It is their opinion that academic qualifications are more difficult to achieve and should, thus, be held in greater esteem.

“Not all courses are equal currently, e.g. sciences at one level, like National 5 are already harder than other courses such as administration or childcare or PE. Let’s not pretend they are. Courses that have no exam and are internally assessed will be easier to achieve than external assessed ones - which are then by definition not equal.” – High school teacher

National monitoring and accountability systems

Recommendation: Require national monitoring and accountability systems to gather information on the breadth of achievements recognised within the Scottish Diploma of Achievement. Insight and the National Improvement Framework (NIF) should be updated to reflect success as envisaged in the SDA.

16% of responses disagreed with the recommendation on requiring national monitoring and accountability systems.

Many respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the effectiveness of current monitoring and accountability systems. The need for accountability is acknowledged, but there was a prevailing feeling that the focus should shift from measuring schools (in a way that pits schools and local authorities against each other) to prioritising outcomes for young people. Respondents argued that outcomes for students vary based on geography and socioeconomic factors and questioned the relevance of such comparisons.

These respondents were worried that increased monitoring and accountability might lead to a data-driven approach detached from the principles of GIRFEC. The potential negative consequences, such as increased pressure on pupils and a focus on data rather than genuine outcomes, were cited as concerns.

“Although we understand the importance of national monitoring and accountability systems, we believe more focus needs to be placed on ensuring outcomes for young people so that the system doesn't focus on what can be 'measured' rather than focusing on the outcomes first and foremost.” – High school teachers (group response)

“National monitoring and accountability puts pressure on staff and pupils and puts us against other schools who have different contexts and a range of pupils. Every year we have attainment reviews and they do not benefit us and we are questioned if pupils don't achieve highly enough.” – High school teachers (group response)

Some respondents were also concerned that monitoring and accountability measures might indicate a lack of confidence in the professionalism and judgement of teachers. They called for greater autonomy for schools and local authorities to monitor progress at a local level.

“A greater level of trust with the educators in Scotland is required and the autonomy for leadership teams to be able to monitor their own teams through collegiate conversations and a professional trust.” – Primary school teacher

Concerns were raised about the potential for an increased administrative burden on teachers if new mentoring and accountability systems are introduced. Respondents argued that this would have an adverse impact on workload. They fear that teacher’s will be overloaded with additional administrative tasks and left to bear the brunt of achieving a workable system.

“While I agree that standards have to be maintained and monitored there is the danger of building inflexibility into a new system by establishing another monolithic layer of bureaucracy which will stifle any innovation and create additional workload for those tasked with delivering the system at the sharp end.” – High school teacher

Workforce and Professional Learning

Recommendation: An expanded programme of professional learning should be developed to support the changes to qualifications and assessment. Time should be made available for staff in Education to access professional learning, to collaborate and to engage with the changes being proposed. Build a national strategy for standards.

8% of responses disagreed with the recommendation to develop a programme of professional learning to support the changes to qualifications and assessment.

These respondents are unconvinced that they would be given sufficient time and funding to attend professional learning opportunities. Additionally, some respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the professional learning offer during the implementation of CfE, noting that it largely consisted of navigating through extensive guidelines. They were thus, sceptical, that this recommendation would be delivered effectively.

CfE was implemented via a fat folder of guidelines which had to be sifted through and translated into context. This was not efficient or effective. Alternatively, if it will be training, will teachers be released to attend and schools compensated?” – High school teachers (group response)



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