Sharper edge for revamped SQA board

14th September 2001 at 01:00
THE Education Minister is expected to order another shake-up of the Scottish Qualifications Authority, but one which stops short of the radical changes demanded by the SNP.

Jack McConnell believes too much upheaval could put the running of next year's exams at risk and would therefore be a step too far.

The authority's status as a quango is currently under review but meanwhile he is keen to streamline the SQA board, requiring it to play a much more hands-on role and improve accountability to ministers. It would have to set out its plans and indicate clearly how it intends to implement them.

The board would be freed to do this by the creation of an advisory council to give schools, colleges and other stakeholders a say in qualifications matters in general.

Mr McConnell is taking advantage of the interim status of the current board and the fact that the chief executive and chairman are to step down near the end of the year.

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