Fudge from the SQA

3rd July 1998 at 01:00
I will consider Ron Tuck's promise "to maintain standards" in Higher Still English to be of some value the day he defines "controlled conditions" for the assessment of course work and explains where we will test students' ability to write formally and accurately in their own language. At every Higher Still in-service I have attended, SQA representatives have refused to provide such a definition.

We have been told that students can bring their final drafts of essays to the assessment. These will have been edited, in some cases endlessly, with the help of teachers. In such situations the "assessment" will consist of merely rewriting a combined effort.

However, while he pursues his ruthless drive for "equal parity", perhaps Mr Tuck could explain to us old fuddy-duddies, whether we are SQA officials or classroom teachers, where on earth he thinks the sub-editors of the future are going to come from. Once we are gone, there will be a lot of Highers in English but not a lot of accurate spelling or punctuation.

Bogus SQA awards and fudged assessments will not evade reality indefinitely. Eventually Mr Tuck's agenda will be seen to have cheated pupils and students who deserved genuine hurdles and improved training and teaching to help them succeed. Mr Tuck's Higher Still is no more than a patronising alteration of thegoalposts. He should not be allowed to proceed.

Frances McKie. Assistant principal teacher of EnglishAlness Academy. Ross-shire

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now