Concern over subject-choice in Scotland

Parents and teachers have voiced concerns over a dwindling choice of subjects in secondary schools, which they say reflects cost-cutting rather than the goals of Curriculum for Excellence.

The curriculum was meant to offer a broader education in the first three years of secondary, putting pupils under less pressure. However, since pupils now take their first exams a year later, many schools provide fewer subjects.

Written evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee, which is looking at the issue, paints a damning picture.

Mike Robinson, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, said choice was being restricted.

He explained: “It is clear children in most state schools are given as few as five and up to seven subject choices. Every independent school offers eight.”

Iain Aitken, a principal teacher of geography in Ayrshire, added: “The system is fundamentally broken. There is an urgent need to revert to a system where pupils can follow at least eight subjects in S4.”

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