Schools chief rules out new exams delay

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THE BORDERS’ education chief has ruled out following another Scottish council’s lead by postponing new exams which form part of the new curriculum for excellence, writes Kenny Paterson.

Glenn Rodger said he was confident secondary schools in the Borders would be ready for the new system – which will replace Standard Grades and Intermediates – but he admitted there is still “a lot of work to be done”.

Mr Rodger responded after a suggestion at Tuesday’s education executive meeting that Scottish Borders Council could delay the introduction, as East Renfrewshire Council announced it would do in January.

The local authority, which covers communities to the south of Glasgow, will not put its pupils on to the new national exams this year as its headteachers believe they have not been given enough detailed content.

But Mr Rodger said: “East Renfrewshire Council are the only local authority in Scotland to take this action.

“The other 31 authorities have had progress reports which show we are on course to get to the point of delivery within the timescale recognised nationally.”

He added that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) was working with SBC ahead of curriculum for excellence, which aims to encourage staff to put together more of their own lessons.

“The latest survey showed there is a lot of work to be done but that was always part of the timetable,” said Mr Rodger.

“East Renfrewshire don’t do Standard Grades at present, which is one of the reasons for their decision.

“If I thought it was in the best interests of our pupils I would do that [follow East Renfrewshire] but I don’t think that is the case.”