Carson attacks SNP over exam choices claims

MSP Finlay Carson with Sheuchan pupils
MSP Finlay Carson with Sheuchan pupils

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has challenged SNP education secretary John Swinney MSP over a claimed reduction in subject choice for school students.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP used education question time at Holyrood to raise the concerns of local pupils and teachers over what they say is a reduction in exam courses.

Mr Carson, who has already claimed that some schools in Dumfries and Galloway are no longer offering eight subjects to S4 pupils, also raised the issue of different levels of study level being taught in the same classroom.

And he also hit out at SNP “failure to acknowledgement the growing concerns around subject choice expressed by pupils, parents, and teachers.

He said: “The reduction in subject choice in our schools is of real concern to pupils, parents and teachers alike in Dumfries and Galloway.

“Not being able to study the subjects of their choice as in previous years is detrimental to the future prospects of many of our youngsters.

“This problem is exacerbated in rural schools and communities with constrained resources.

“This often leads to children at different levels learning in the same classroom, something which the SNP Education Secretary was unable to answer me on.”

However, a spokesman for the education authority, Dumfries and Galloway Council, said: “Headteachers across Dumfries and Galloway have been given the autonomy as is the expectation of Curriculum for Excellence to design a curriculum through the senior phase which best suits the needs of their young people.

“This provides opportunity for a range of flexible pathways, building on the breadth and depth of the Broad General Education.

“All schools are encouraged to design, deliver and support an aspirational, broad and relevant senior phase curriculum that addresses their local challenges and offer the widest possible range of opportunities. This ensures equity of provision and opportunity for all our young people.”