New move to scrap Scotland's national exams body

Call to reform the SQA is partly driven by concerns over its response to the coronavirus pandemic
4th January 2021, 10:28am
Tes Reporter

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New move to scrap Scotland's national exams body

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/new-move-scrap-scotlands-national-exams-body
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An education researcher who is bidding to become an MSP wants to scrap the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Barry Black, of the University of Glasgow, says a new qualifications agency would help to "unleash the potential" of Scottish education.

Mr Black, who is first on the Labour list for North East Scotland for this May's Scottish parliamentary election, says his proposed Private Member's Bill would seek to amend the Education Scotland Act (1996) to disband the SQA, and introduce a new national qualification agency "more aligned with Scotland's modern and holistic curriculum".


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Related: SQA says: 'We did what we were told on results moderation'


He says the SQA "lacks engagement, accountability and transparency".

SQA 'lacks accountability'

Mr Black's research highlighted inequalities in the SQA's moderation process on the 2020 results day in August after Covid-19 led to the cancellation of exams, which led to students' grades being reduced based on previous attainment in their school, with the biggest impact on the most deprived students.

Mr Black said: "Much of the great innovation in Scottish education is suffocated in the senior phase by the requirements of qualifications. And as this country finally reviews how it assesses young people - and awards qualifications - it is time we reflect on the agency tasked with doing that."

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