BAPC requested a follow-up meeting with EL&L representatives on October 4th, 2012 which failed to allay our concerns (see notes from meeting).
We then pursued a high-profile awareness campaign during November 2012 involving the local press (P&J articles 5th, 13th & 23rd November) and launched an online parental survey (results included at the end of this paper) which received approximately 400 responses.
A letter from Education Secretary Mike Russell on November 28th 2012 to one of our parents confirmed that national policy should not constrain the number of subjects that can be taught in S4 and reiterated the high level of flexibility that national guidelines allow schools and local education authorities.
The answer to a Question in the Scottish Parliament from Alex Johnstone MSP on November 28th 2012 likewise stressed that the Scottish Government expects flexibility and that the number of subjects offered in S4 ‘should be tailored not only to the needs of individual schools and communities, but to the needs of individual young people’.
Members of BAPC and Aboyne Academy PC spoke at the next EL&L committee meeting on December 6th 2012. The papers submitted to that committee by Aberdeenshire’s Director of EL&L demonstrated that EL&L’s position had not changed. We collaborated with a number of Aberdeenshire Parent Councils to submit a paper and covering email contesting many assertions in the EL&L documents and presenting alternative proposals aligned with parents’ wishes.
Two main outcomes of that meeting were
- a requirement for the Director of EL&L to provide a CfE progress report on Senior Phase implementation to each EL&L Committee meeting
- the setting-up of an Aberdeenshire Council working group "consisting of teachers, head teachers, parents, Heads of Service and Education Scotland, with input from pupils and councillors as necessary, to review what was happening in each school and to support the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence". BAPC is represented in this group.