SQA owns up to confusion over maths

22nd October 1999 at 01:00
THE complexities of national assessment have been exposed as the Scottish Qualifications Authority has had to admit to confusion surrounding core skills and Standard grade mathematics.

Pupils who achieved a maths Credit level this year were not awarded recognition of skill in "using graphical information" whereas General and Foundation level candidates were. That was because the Credit level question paper did not allow pupils to show enough evidence of handling graphs to merit the award.

After complaints by maths teachers the SQA has written to all schools accepting that Credit candidates were "disadvantaged". They will now have their core skill recognised at Intermediate level 2 under the provisions of Higher Still. From next year question papers will be designed to "generate assessment evidence" for using graphical information.

Last week in The TES Scotland's letters column Ian McLean, principal teacher at Dyce Academy, Aberdeen, pointed out that a Higher Still test unit was withdrawn by the SQA after some pupils had already tackled it.

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