Range of subject choice in Scotland’s schools to be explored 

04.02.2019

Is the range of subject choice in schools impacting on the future of Scotland’s young people? This will be examined in a new Holyrood inquiry announced today.

 

The Education and Skills Committee will explore if there has been a narrowing of subject choice in Scotland’s schools. The Committee will specifically explore the extent of and basis for any narrowing of subject choice.  
 
With the education in Scotland coming in two parts, Broad General Education and the Senior Phase, a reduction in subject choice as pupils enter the senior phase can potentially impact on qualifications for college, university and the work place. 
 
Now the Committee wants to hear from teachers, parents and pupils to find out whether this narrowing is taking place and what this means in practice. The level of uptake of particular subjects will also be examined. 
 
Announcing the inquiry, the Committee Convener Clare Adamson MSP said: 
 
“Subject choice may seem like a small issue but it is one which can have far reaching consequences. 
 
“Ensuring that our young people can achieve to their full potential is something that we all want to see. For young people to have the perception that their future options may be limited by the subject choices that they can take at school, is something that must be avoided. 
 
“We want to hear about the impact of the availability of particular subjects as well as what factors influence subject choice, such as school size, local decision making and timetabling.”  
 
The Committee has today launched a series of surveys for parents, teachers and pupils to find out what the availability of subject choice means for them. More information on this can be found on the Committee’s webpage. 

Background 

The Committee considers issues relating to Curriculum for Excellence on an ongoing basis, and has previously undertaken work on subject choices in the senior phase in early 2017 and curriculum and attainment trends in September 2018. More information on this work, including Official Reports of evidence sessions and correspondence with headteachers, local authorities and higher education institutions, can be read at: 
 https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/102822.aspx  
 
More information about the Committee’s inquiry can be found on the Committee’s webpage: 
 https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/education-committee.aspx  
 
 
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