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Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.
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Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change.

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Presentation at ECER 2010, Helsinki as part of a symposium on UK curriculum development across the different nations. This focuses on Scotland. By Vivienne Baumfield, Louise Hayward, Moira Hulme, Kay …

Presentation at ECER 2010, Helsinki as part of a symposium on UK curriculum development across the different nations. This focuses on Scotland. By Vivienne Baumfield, Louise Hayward, Moira Hulme, Kay Livingston and Ian Menter

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  • 1. Education reform in Scotland: engagement, consultation and the politics of change Vivienne Baumfield, Louise Hayward, Moira Hulme, Kay Livingston and Ian Menter
  • 2. This paper
    • First part reports a study undertaken in 2008:
    • Second part reviews the processes that have occurred since that consultation/engagement
    • Third part discusses what has been learned
  • 3. Part 1 Study of engagement and consultation
    • Background:
    • National Debate in Education (2002)
    • Curriculum Review Group (2004): Curriculum for Excellence
    • Single coherent curriculum (3-18 years)
    • Three year development programme (2004-07)
    • [2007 Change of government]
    • Draft Experience and Outcomes released in stages (November 2007- May 2008)
    • Year-long engagement strategy: teachers, parents, employers, Local Authorities, colleges and universities
    • University of Glasgow commissioned to collect, analyse and report data gathered through the engagement process
    • (January - December 2008).
  • 4. Curriculum Review Group strategic priorities
    • De-cluttering the curriculum to reduce overload
    • Improving transition between stages of schooling
    • Tackling disaffection and disengagement in the middle years (11-14 years)
    • Increased flexibility in age and stage progression routes (vertical and/or lateral)
    • Recognising achievement through accreditation of wider learning
    • Tackling the ‘opportunity gap’ (equity issues) and promoting inclusion
    • Improving opportunities for vocational education (14-16 age group)
  • 5. The four capacities
  • 6. Sources of data
  • 7. Some findings
    • cultural challenges at the early stages of implementation/ enactment: riskiness, ‘getting it wrong’
    • concern over alignment with HMIE inspection regime
    • concern about the variability in interpretation between teachers, departments/faculties, schools and authorities
    • support for professional dialogue and collaboration, not ‘roll out’/cascade model
    • need for time and space to support school-level development opportunities
    • concern about continuity, progression and assessment
  • 8. Enhancing professionalism?
    • welcomed the emphasis on ‘methodologies’: active and cooperative learning, thinking skills, AifL
    • welcomed opportunities to exercise professional judgement but within a supportive framework of clear expectations
    • teachers in public examination years more risk averse
    • concern among some secondary teachers re. ‘dilution’ arising from inter-disciplinarity
    • cross-curricular/whole school work mediated through subject/stage identifications
    • moving from consultation to sustained engagement
  • 9. Part 2 - Implementing the new curriculum
    • And now what has happened?
    • The curriculum was launched on 16 August
    • Continuing tensions between local and central government
    • A major financial crisis
    • Change of Education Secretary (December 2009)
  • 10. The new Curriculum
    • Much more detail than originally envisaged
    • ‘ Building the Curriculum’ - support and guidance, websites, podcasts, schools’ digital network – the politics of persuasion?
    • A one year delay was built in and at one time it seemed another year would be added
    • But why?
  • 11. The CfE Management Board
    • Scottish Government
    • Learning and Teaching Scotland
    • Scottish Qualifications Authority
    • HM Inspectorate of Education
    • Educational Institute of Scotland
    • Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association
    • Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers
    • Association of Scotland’s Colleges
    • Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland
    • School Leaders Scotland
    • Association of Directors of Education in Scotland
    • General Teaching Council Scotland
    • Skills Development Scotland
    • Deans of Universities’ Faculties of Education
    • Scottish Council of Independent Schools
  • 12. Opposition and resistance
    • EIS 58% of secondary teachers did not understand the new curriculum (May 2009)
    • SSTA 89% of respondents needed more subject resources; 84% felt training was inadequate; 70% felt consultation inadequate (April 2009)
    • CfE Management Board survey - 78% primary 37% secondary felt confident about progress (March 2010)
    • HMIE - half of 150 sec schools were at an early stage (HMIE suspended its inspection programme)
  • 13. … and more
    • Cabinet Secretary wrote letter to parents of all new secondary students
    • Two unions balloting on industrial action – possible work to rule (35 hour week)
    • EIS considering a one day strike next March (first ballot for strike action since 1989)
    • Call for delay in new assessment arrangements (due 2014)
  • 14. Part 3 - Discussion
    • Is there a fundamental shift in the nature of the policy community in Scotland? (Changing nature of the state?)
    • The central paradox – all support enhanced professionalism but there is resistance to this version of it. Why?
    • Would it have played out differently if the balance between local and national had not (been) shifted – or if it had not coincided with a financial crisis?
  • 15. More questions
    • Or is it ‘simply’ because the curriculum model is confused (as Priestley and Humes (2010) suggest: ‘the operational end of CfE is… arguably inimical to the underlying purposes of the curriculum as expressed in the four capacities’)
    • Or that this is not so much a curriculum reform as a pedagogical reform…. (ie confusion over ‘message systems’)
  • 16. Conclusions
    • From Part 1: It may be important to distinguish between ‘consultation’ and ‘engagement’
    • From Part 2: The importance of a ‘situated (and dynamic) perspective’ on curriculum (or any education policy) reform
  • 17. Further information
    • Curriculum for Excellence website:
    • http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence/index.asp
    • University of Glasgow Interim and Final Report:
    • http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence/background/keydocuments/index.asp
    • Contact:
    • [email_address]

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