PISA results attract particular (and perhaps disproportionate) attention because they are now the only substantial source of comparative data available to Scottish policy makers. Walter Humes update explains why ‘refreshing’ CfE is unlikely to deliver change.
‘Revisiting our educational history might encourage us to question some of the prevailing orthodoxies of our time…Perhaps we should ask why there are no comparable radical voices in Scottish education today.’
‘Modern Scotland, both before and after devolution, emerges as a country that is more committed to bureaucracy than democracy’.
‘Official Scotland is a relatively small world and many of the key players meet and socialise on a regular basis. Cronyism with a Scottish accent is no more acceptable than the public school/Oxbridge variety…it exhibits many of the worst features of narrative privilege, bureaucratic defensiveness, professional protectionism and the abuse of patronage.’
The language of Scottish education needs to become less boastful and sentimental, and more honest. Professor Walter Humes calls for a national policy debate with people prepared to ask tough questions and challenge orthodoxies of an under-achieving education system.