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SQA says it will deliver results on time for August 14

THE Scottish Qualifications Authority could yet stun a sceptical nation and produce certificates on August 14 that match student expectations.

Last-ditch efforts are being made to tidy up unit data ahead of what indications suggest could be a surprisingly effective certification process.

Henry McLeish, First Minister, promised no repeat of last year's debacle and may yet confound critics - provided the confidence of SQA staff in their ability to manage the data is turned into accuracy on the day.

The authority now knows the precise information it needs to complete the results process before students receive their certificates in two weeks' time and believes it is on target. A spokesman said that the vast majority of data was "now secure", although the outcomes of around 7,000 out of 750,000 units taken by students have yet to be confirmed.

"We are confident that all of the straightforward queries that we are investigating in this process - including candidates who appear to have been withdrawn from units, levels or subjects and candidates that prove not to have been present at their exam and the like - can be successfully resolved before we move on to the final stage," the spokesman said.

Leader, page 12 Opinion, page 13

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