Skip to main content

Your views

The SQA didn't listen to Galbraith. Will it listen now?

In your fine appreciation of the first education minister in the Scottish Parliament, the late Sam Galbraith (pictured), you refer to the exams fiasco in 2000 (" `He was immune to political criticism' '', 22 August). His obituary published in The Scotsman on 20 August has this paragraph: "As the responsible minister, he took the formal flak but pointed an unusually aggressive finger at the Scottish Qualifications Authority, saying he had warned it time and again of the dangers of the system but it had refused to listen. `Worthless,' he once called its methods."

Refusing to listen remains the hallmark of the SQA. A review of its implementation of the National exams has found a significant and unsustainable level of over-assessment. Teachers' organisations were well ahead of the report's authors in raising concerns about this matter. Complaints about the SQA's poor provision of support material for schools also went unheeded.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee has either blocked or rejected a request from Aberdeenshire teachers to establish a watchdog body to oversee the management of the SQA. The current education secretary, Mike Russell, apparently has no issues with this quango. He assured readers of July's Holyrood Magazine that the SQA "always do their job". I doubt Mr Galbraith would have agreed.

John SamsonEdinburgh

Short and tweet

Really wonder about wisdom of some local authorities asking schools to cancel indyref debates. What message does it give to young people?@MspLiz

More equal societies invest more in education and make childcare affordable and practical.@fairfunding4OK

I seem to fall a day behind every day I work. In a year, my plans will lap me.@CairneyPaul

Daughter just made impassioned case on the selfishness of my generation on climate change. That and inequality = the real issues for her.@AnnaFowlieSSSC

Just been asked to speak in Galway on indyref on 18 September. Would have been great but there is only one place to be in the world that day.@GerryHassan

Becoming disillusioned with #National4 courses already. We're making all the same mistakes that the Nationals were implemented to fix.@madwullie

Use Mamp;Ms to explore exponential growth. Shake some up and for each one landing M-side up, add another to the pile. Plot on a graph #maths@ChrisMcGrane84

Letters for publication in TESS should arrive by 10am Monday. Send your letters, ideally of no more than 250 words in length, including contact address and phone number, by email to scotletters@tesglobal.com or by post to TES Scotland, Thistle House, 21-23 Thistle Street, Edinburgh EH2 1DF. Letters may be edited

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you