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New SQA chairman is well tuned in

John McCormick, former BBC Scotland Controller, is to be the new chairman of the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Mr McCormick, aged 60, spent 34 years with the BBC where he began in educational broadcasting, rising to become secretary of the corporation in London before returning to Scotland in 1992.

A former history teacher, Mr McCormick will hold the part-time pound;12,645-a-year post for four years. He takes over from Sir John Ward, the leading businessman who played a key role in steadying the SQA ship before moving on to chair Scottish Enterprise.

Peter Peacock, Education Minister, said Mr McCormick had been chosen for his experience in managing a complex organisation and because he is an "excellent communicator". Attracting a high-calibre chairman demonstrated that the SQA "has not only turned the corner but is looking to the future with confidence".

The new SQA chairman was a member of Strathclyde University court and is a governor of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

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