FOI Request - Subjects Offered in Schools at S4

Request 101000379368

1)  Has your Council or Educational Department set an upper limit on the number of subjects that schools in your area are allowed to offer in S4?

2)  If so, what is the limit?

3)  If so, what is the rationale behind the limit?  If this would exceed the cost limit under FOI, answers to this question may be omitted, but in that circumstances only.

4)  If so, what objective evidence has or is being gathered by the Council around the limit to the number of subjects offered in S4 (e.g at Nat 5 level) (e.g effect on low, high and middle achievers, effect on subject choice at Higher (has subject choice changed, are fewer or higher numbers taking Highers and when, are fewer or more crashing Highers and when, what effect on destinations for youngsters of low, middle and high aspirations).

Comment on Q4 - An indication of:-
i) that data is being gathered, and will be available in future
ii) the name of the project under which the information is being gathered,
iii) when it might be available, and the
iv) department carrying out the study
would be a sufficient answer.
v)  a brief outline of the data gathering project, if possible, would also be most helpful.

5)  If you have not set a limit, have you provided a "steer" towards the number of subjects offered in S4, if so please could you provide a copy of that "steer"

Response 05-10-2015

1)  There is no upper limit on the number of subjects that schools are allowed to offer in S4.  In 2013, prior to the launch of the new qualifications, each secondary school conducted their own consultations with their staff on the number of qualifications offered to pupils in S4.  Seven out of eight schools provide a timetable designed to offer six subjects in S4, with Elgin High’s timetable offering five subjects.  The number of hours provisionally allocated for each course at National 5 level had a significant bearing on each school’s individual decision to be able to provide the recommended number of course hours within the constraints of a thirty period week.  

2)  N/A

3)  N/A

4)  N/A

5)  The structure of the school week (with regards to the number of periods available for allocation each week, the length of time of each period and school day etc) is currently under review, but schools at present have autonomy to be able to structure their senior phase timetables as they see fit to provide opportunities within their devolved budgetary constraints to best meet the needs of their learners.

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