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SQA spins its web over Shetland school

Teachers and lecturers in Shetland have been given the first chance to key into a website for past exam papers and guidelines on marking standards.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority is working with Anderson High in Lerwick to test a web-based operation due to be introduced across the country next year. The website will also make it easier for teachers working in remote areas like Shetland to become markers by using the internet to access the information and training they need.

Douglas McMillan, SQA project manager, said the site had been 18 months in the making and would take a further six months to develop nationally. "One of the driving forces behind developing this project was the increased training burden on the SQA and the huge increase in what we were asking our applicants to do," Mr McMillan said.

A second aim was to introduce the papers and standards to the broader group of teachers and lecturers who may not want to become markers but want to understand the levels required and how to prepare candidates.

Colin Nichol, an education assistant with the local authority, said that teachers would no longer have to travel to the mainland to find out how to mark papers.

"If you didn't go to the markers' meetings on the mainland, you didn't get the information which you needed to help pupils get through their exams.

This website will make that available for everyone," Mr Nichol said.

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