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25/09/13 00:01

£1.4 million to support schools

Further boost for Curriculum for Excellence qualifications.

An additional £1.4 million will be made available in 2013-14 to support the implementation of new qualifications in Scotland’s schools.

This move builds on the £3.5 million provided in 2012-13 and the delivery by Education Scotland of 95 National 4 and National 5 web-based course materials.

The funding will ensure that from 2014, pupils will be able to access the most up to date books and materials as well as online Higher courses in science, language and business subjects, providing a range of twenty-first century learning experiences.

Speaking ahead of the Scottish Learning Festival, Education Secretary Michael Russell said:

“2013-14 is an important year for our secondary schools, with the introduction of the new National qualifications. These are exciting times for pupils and teachers, and we are continuing to ensure they are fully supported as we take this vitally important step in Scottish education. As well as previously announced support materials for National 1, 2 and 3, Higher and Advanced Higher being provided by Education Scotland, text books and hand-outs still have a significant role to play. Having listened to teachers and unions about classroom resources, I will make a further £1 million available to local authorities this year to help secondary schools supplement existing learning resources and buy new text books for National qualification courses where there have been greater levels of change.

“In addition to this amount, there will also be £400,000 in 2013-14 to online resource portal SCHOLAR to ensure its content can be fully aligned with the new qualifications, enabling schools to expand what’s available to pupils.

“I want teachers to be free to focus on teaching and, as a Government, we will continue to look for every opportunity to continue to support the work of schools and parents to improve education in Scotland. The important changes to learning and teaching being introduced through Curriculum for Excellence remain at the heart of our efforts to improve attainment, address the deprivation gap and help Scotland’s young people prepare themselves to succeed in the global jobs market.”

Background

SCHOLAR, a programme of Heriot-Watt University, provides interactive online learning resources for SQA courses to Scottish secondary schools. Each of the 32 local authorities in Scotland are signed up to SCHOLAR, which currently offers provision at Higher and Advanced Higher level covering STEM subjects, business subjects and languages, with Intermediate 2 resources for maths and Mandarin. The funding will allow SCHOLAR to update these materials to align with the new CfE qualifications.

The SCHOLAR materials will complement and supplement the course materials being provided by Education Scotland, expanding the range of support available to teachers around the new qualifications.