“The period from S4 to S6 … is designed as a three-year phase of learning where the focus is on a learner’s total achievements by the end of that period, rather than individual year-on-year attainment.”
He also said it was for individual schools to decide whether pupils in S4 were getting a fair choice of subjects.
That was questioned by Jenny Marra, for Labour, who said Dundee City Council had told schools that fourth year pupils could sit a maximum of six subjects.
MSPs unanimously backed a Conservative motion, amended by the government and Labour, “noting with concern evidence that shows that, for a substantial number of schools across Scotland, subject choice for S4 pupils has been reduced”, believing this is an “unintended consequence” of the current structure of Curriculum for Excellence, and further believing it is “exacerbated by teacher shortages in key subjects”.
The motion also recognises that “the most significant measure of achievement is when pupils leave school after the three-year senior phase”.