Subject squeeze hitting poorer pupils hardest

Pupils are increasingly having their subject choices squeezed, with the most disadvantaged areas worst hit, academics have told the Scottish Parliament.

A “narrowing” of the curriculum is limiting the range of subjects on offer and potentially also young people’s options after they leave school, they said.

Holyrood’s Education and Skills Committee heard from several experts on the 2018 examination entries and the way Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is working.

Under the old system, most pupils studied eight subjects in S4. Now, according to Professor Jim Scott, an honorary professor of education at the University of Dundee, schools are offering anything from five to eight courses under the new curriculum.

Prof Scott, who surveyed all 359 secondary schools in Scotland, said: “The latest position is that 54 per cent of Scottish secondary schools are offering their children only six courses.

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