Councillors on the Education, Learning and Leisure Committee have welcomed a report updating them on the implementation of the senior phase of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).
Members heard of a number of developments since the December meeting of the Education, Learning and Leisure (EL&L) Committee where various actions were agreed.
These include the formation of a Senior Phase Working Group, consisting of parents, council officers, elected members, teachers and representatives from Education Scotland and other partners, which held its first meeting in January.
All parents have now been sent a letter outlining some key facts about the new curriculum in secondary schools, with further discussions taking place where requested.
In addition, each school has been directed to provide an information booklet for parents, most of which have been received, while a ‘peer group pairing scheme’ has been co-ordinated by the Aberdeenshire Secondary Head Teachers’ Association (ASHTA) to provide support in curriculum development.
Councillor Isobel Davidson, Chair of the EL&L Committee, and senior council officers, met with Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning in December, following which the Scottish Government issued a letter to all parent councils in Aberdeenshire clarifying its position.
Kenneth Muir, Strategic Director (School Years) and Director of Inspection at Education Scotland, also attended Thursday’s committee meeting.
Speaking at the meeting, he told councillors: “Although it is difficult to be definitive, the vast majority of local authorities are offering what is outlined in this report - the flexibility for schools to develop the curricular model to suit their individual needs.
“What is in front of you is absolutely consistent with the principles of the Curriculum for Excellence.”
Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Davidson said: “This was a very positive meeting and one which I hope has given the committee a clear overview, not only of Aberdeenshire Council’s position, but that of Scotland as a whole.”
Vice-chair Councillor Ron McKail added: “I very much welcome this report – a lot of work has clearly been done by the service since December to address the concerns which have been raised by parents.”
The senior phase of Curriculum for Excellence will begin in academic session 2013/14 and will affect all S4 pupils across Scotland.