30 years ago

2nd April 2004 at 01:00
And you thought it began with Higher Still and all its national assessment banks? As reported in The TES Scotland of April 5, 1974, Scottish education was even then accused of being "certification mad": The Scots are probably now the most examined of all countries in the western world, said Guy Neave, of the Centre for Educational Sociology, Edinburgh University, on Wednesday to a conference in Dundee run jointly by the Careers Research and Advisory Centre and the Scottish Universities Council on Entrance.

The consequence of this, said Dr Neave, could be described as inflation of formal qualifications, or an education system becoming certification bound - or mad. As universities raised entrance requirements, the CSYS (Certificate of Sixth Year Studies) would become a sine qua non of entry, just as the sixth year had now become sine qua non for entry, both to colleges of education and to university . . .

One possible consequence of increasing the currency of admission would be for the school to assume a role of increasing differentiation and selection at the post-16 level in order to meet the increased competition.

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