New exams to go ahead

EDUCATION Scotland has concluded that new qualifications can be delivered to secondary schools as planned — but East Renfrewshire is still postponing their introduction by a year.

The body carried out an audit amid concerns about the new National 4 and 5 qualifications, scheduled to replace standard grade and intermediate qualifications from 2013/14.

Education Scotland chief executive Bill Maxwell commented: “Evidence from the audit shows that secondary schools are making good progress in their preparation for the new national qualifications.

“The picture I am seeing is of a highly professional workforce of teachers and school leaders responding positively to that challenge and making effective use of the increasing amount of support and guidance available”.

East Renfrewshire is the only education authority seeking a delay in introducing the new exams, and was previously forced to defend the decision at the education committee, where it claimed action on the advice of East Ren’s head teachers.

When facing the committee in March ERC’s director of education assured ministers that the decision was taken “for young people and not to protect timelines or structures”, and that the authority was still committed to the curriculum for excellence programme.