Rector clears up confusion on study leave

Buckhaven High School
Buckhaven High School

Pupils at Buckhaven High School are calling for a rethink of a new study leave proposal which would see them required to attend school right up to their exams.

A petition aimed at reversing the decision has even gathered over 260 names of pupils in S4 and S5.

Grant Whytock (picture by Walter Neilson)

Grant Whytock (picture by Walter Neilson)

However, in a statement, rector Grant Whytock denied that study leave had been ‘cancelled’ - as was claimed in the petition - and said pupils were simply being offered more help and support but could choose to study at home if they so wished.

Speaking to the Mail anonynously, fifth year pupils said the proposals, which require pupils to attend school as part of a study plan right up to their exams- instead of the tradition study leave which allows youngsters to conduct their revision at home for a period of four to six weeks- will have a detrimental effect on grades at the school.

They believed that the new plans, which would see every pupil given atimetable of supported study, wouldn’t work because of distractions at school.

The Mail understands that Buckhaven High School is the only school in the Fife region which is using this new study leave method.

This is a choice for pupils during their exam diet and we recognise that a structured programme of study is not for everyone

The pupils also noted that their revision will be interrupted because of the new nationals qualifications which mean they will be starting new course work before they have even completed exams for this term.

Rector at Buckhaven High School Grant Whytock commented: “Discussions have been ongoing for many weeks at Buckhaven High School on the best way of supporting young people in the preparation for their exams.

“There was never any intention of totally removing the traditional “study leave” time. However, national exams take place in a different context from that of previous years. There is a diversity of pupil needs now and we want the support for pupils to reflect this.

“All pupils returning to school next session will have a period of “study leave” time followed by the opportunity to come into school for supported study with teachers and some preparation for new courses once exams are over. These offers of additional help have been welcomed by pupil councils and by the school parent council.

“This is a choice for pupils during their exam diet and we recognise that a structured programme of study is not for everyone. However we would encourage pupils to take advantage of all the support the school has to offer. Information about the exam diet programme will be circulated to parents and pupils.”