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Doubts over internal assessment at Higher

Teachers in North Ayrshire feel Higher Still planners are over-emphasising internal assessment, especially at Higher level, according to a report before the council's education committee on Tuesday.

Problems may arise if pupils are asked to pass all internal unit assessments as well as the external course examination. Pupils and teachers are likely to spend too much time on assessment with consequences for workload. Recording progress could be time-consuming.

Following 22 national consultation seminars and 12 local meetings, teachers have told the council they have more confidence in the external assessment of the Scottish Examination Board than the internal assessment of the Scottish Vocational Education Council. Further education colleges do not share that view, the council points out.

The cut in the external Higher exam from three hours to two hours may devalue the process, teachers believe. They also want rigorous external moderation and verification of internal assessment.

Teachers also argue that multi-level assessment will not be widely acceptable under Higher Still. Intermediate 1 and 2 could be taught together or Intermediate 2 and Higher but not Intermediate 1, 2 and Higher.

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