Glasgow’s new head of education wants to return to literacy and math surveys –

According to the new head of Glasgow schools, Scotland has the opportunity to implement “meaningful” education reform, but lacks vital information on the progress of its teaching and learning system.

Douglas Hutchison suggested that ministers consider introducing an annual national version of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Research conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) had previously found an alarming decline in the performance of Scottish 15-year-olds in mathematics and science.

Hutchison, a former Catholic priest, also said that working experience in the church reinforces the importance of “not trying to dictate” the direction of travel.

“School leaders are the key stakeholders,” he told The Herald. “It is up to me to work with them on the big strategic issues that take Glasgow to the next level.

“I have an idea of ​​what might work, but it won’t be imposed on the system. The days of Strathclyde’s rigorous approach like “we make the decisions, you implement them” are almost over.

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Hutchison assumed the position of Executive Director of Education of the Glasgow Council following the retirement of his respected predecessor, Maureen McKenna.

The change comes at a time of unprecedented turmoil as schools struggle to continue studying in the wake of Covid-19.

Significant reform efforts continue following the publication of an OECD report highlighting major shortcomings in the implementation of the Curriculum of Excellence. These include the non-alignment of general general education for children aged 3-15 with the senior stage in the fourth quarter of the sixth trimester. Analysis – especially ’19. valuation practices of the century – led to plans by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and scrap inspections to be replaced by the standardization body Education Scotland.

Hutchison said there were effective arrangements to provide teachers with information on student progress and said the often criticized Scottish National Standards (SNSA) assessments were a good “diagnostic” tool. But she added: “We don’t collect this data and compare schools to schools, nor do we use it at the system level to tell how well the system is working.

Mr. Hutchison said he will return “personally” to the Scottish Literacy and Mathematics (SSLN) survey. This was an annual sample of P4, P7, and S2 students discontinued in 2017 as part of the move to the SNSA, where teachers rate student performance against key milestones known as the Curriculum for Excellence Levels.

Coming up with the idea of ​​returning to SSLN, Hutchison said, “That’s a lot of what the OECD said. Where a survey approach would be fine, they interviewed using a census approach.

“So if we have so many young people and we do some sort of test, you have a statistical model that gives you an indication of whether the system is going up or down. And since this is a standard test, it is an objective measurement.

“Now, [with] The SNSA has not published anything nationally. The deal is that schools use it as a diagnostic tool. For me it should be called Scottish National Diagnostic Assessment. But this is for individual classes and for individual teachers as a diagnostic tool, and I don’t know what it gives us at the system level.

“We need some measure of progress in the system. So I want some kind of research. This year we are doing PISA. We participate in an international survey: why not take a national survey? [survey] on an annual basis? ”

Regarding broader education reform, Hutchison said: “Scottish education appears to be conservative in nature.

“So there is an opportunity right now where change can be significant. But at the same time, this conservatism may have a good place and be rooted in a concern for the system’s ability to cope with change while preserving its education. young.

“Perhaps it is a question of not wanting to jeopardize what is happening to the young people who are currently in the system. But I think this is an opportunity.

“I think the EQS reform is a good thing. I think the Education Scotland reform is a good thing. I think there is a real opportunity, but we should all be part of it.

Hutchison, former deputy chief executive of South Ayrshire Council, said decision-making and collective accountability among colleagues will be key features of his mandate. She said: “I feel a responsibility to all young people in Scotland because I believe Glasgow can be a leader for change for the most deprived children, young people and families.

“I think Glasgow is already leading the way. And in that sense, I think I have a wider responsibility than in Glasgow as I expect principals to hold themselves accountable beyond the school gates.

Mr. Hutchison also said there were repercussions between education and becoming a priest. “Faith is by definition a voluntary activity,” he added.

“I’m not saying that taking responsibility for children and young people in Glasgow is a voluntary responsibility if you work in education. But I don’t intend to operate in a context where dictations come from the center and people follow them. There must be an element to take people with you.

Source: Herald Scotland