The Executive, desperate to avoid a repetition of last year's problems, has taken early action to create a beter market. Fees are to be given a 50 per cent hike at a cost of pound;3 million. The injection of cash is welcome because the previously low rates reflected the SQA's inability to persuade the local authorities (as presenters of the majority of candidates) to raise their contributions significantly.
Despite the new incentive, there must be a lurking worry. Teachers have had their fill of the SQA. They remain sceptical about its performance this session. Will they spurn the opportunity to mark? Hopefully not, since recovery of exam credibility has to involve more than those who were responsible for creating the problems.