Hard-pressed secondary teachers will welcome an early decision by the SQA to scrap investigations in Standard grade history, geography, modern studies and economics. Investigating will not be separately assessed from 1999, and skills will instead be tested through external exam papers.
A survey of social subjects teachers showed that geographers were keenest for the change, with 73 per cent in favour. In history and modern studies, 44 per cent chose the external option.
The changeover was supported by almost all of the small number of economics teachers who offered a view. New arrangements for the four subjects will be published shortly, followed by specimen questions.
* The nature of Standard grade investigations in the sciences will be harmonised and a candidate in all four subjects - biology, chemistry, physics and general science - would submit no more than two. The SQA has decided on changes from 1999 after analysing the results of teacher consultation. The weighting of practical abilities in each subject will be reduced from 33 per cent to 20 per cent.