Saturday, 21 May 2016

The unequal exam opportunities for Scottish children

Children playing in streets of Edinburgh 1950s
"Research by Reform Scotland has highlighted a wide variation in the maximum number of National 4 and 5s S4 pupils can sit..."

[A] " Freedom of Information question was submitted to each local authority in Scotland, asking what was the maximum number of Nationals S4 pupils could sit..."

"The answers highlighted that while in some schools pupils could sit up to eight exams, similar to the situation under the old Standard Grades, in other schools pupils were restricted to only five. This was regardless of ability or prospects of success..."

  "This is not an issue about ability, but one of opportunity. An able student at Braes High, for example, will almost certainly end up with fewer N5s than a similarly able student at Bearsden Academy, simply because they are not allowed to sit the same number of exams."

"This is likely to adversely affect those who leave a school that allows only 5 or 6 exam sittings at the end of fourth year, as they will probably end up with fewer exam results than they otherwise might if they attended a different state school. For those going on to study Highers, they have a smaller pool of subjects to choose or have to consider more crash Highers."
"Curriculum for Excellence was supposed to broaden pupils' education. Unfortunately, for some it is narrowing it, at least in the senior phase."

And so much for tackling the attainment gap by focusing on the early years.

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