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Ministers keep an extra close eye on SQA

Internal changes in the Scottish Executive will allow senior education officials to keep a closer watch over the Scottish Qualifications Authority and its running of the exam inations system.

With ministers under pressure to ensure that there is no repeat of last year's embarrassing results debacle, the division dealing with the SQA has lost some of previous functions in a management shake-up. The new section that has emerged will only deal with curriculum, assessment and qualifications.

Jack MConnell, the Education Minister, is expected to report back to the Parliament in 10 days with his response to MSPs' report into the SQA's mishandling of last year's events. Their analysis was published last December.

Meanwhile, the authority has confirmed - as we reported last week - that results will be posted a week later this year on August 13. Schools and colleges will receive advance information electronically on the afternoon of August 10, followed by paper information on August 13.

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