Debate on new exam system

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aberdeenshire’s two Scottish Labour Councillors, Alison Evison and Raymond Christie, attended last Thursday’s Education Learning and Leisure Committee Meeting which considered the implementation of the new National Four and National Five exams. These exams will be sat by pupils in S4 from next year and there has been some dispute about the number of exam options which should be offered by each school.

“Labour does not have a seat on this Committee” commented Alison Evison, “However we went along to the public gallery because education issues are of great importance to us. The new exams are a topic about which we have received much correspondence.

“We were pleased that parent representatives were able to present their views to the Committee. Parents in some schools in Aberdeenshire feel that there has been a lack of effective consultation over the Senior Phase of the National Curriculum and this was a good opportunity for them to put their views across.

“We were heartened by the fact that Parents, Officers and Committee Members all showed a desire to focus on the needs of each learner. The Committee agreed that there will be flexibility for individual pupils to sit more than six subjects in S4 if this is appropriate for them. This is a welcome commitment, even though it is not the eight subject model which parents in a minority of schools are pressing for.”

The Labour Concillors also welcomed the setting up of a working group of parents, Headteachers, teachers and other professionals to review and consider the implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence across Aberdeenshire.