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Scotland teachers 'dismayed' over delay to abolish SQA exam body

July 05, 2023

Original Article:

Teachers will be "dismayed" that plans to abolish the SQA exams body have been delayed, Scotland's biggest education union has said.

The EIS said the agency's reputation was already "in tatters".

Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth said on Thursday that legislation to reform Scotland's education bodies would not be introduced at present.

The Scottish government announced its intention to scrap the SQA two years ago.

The new agency - combining the functions of the SQA and Education Scotland - was expected to start work next year.

EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said it was difficult to see how they could "move forward with reforms" while the SQA was intact for another two years.

She said: "Secondary teachers in Scotland will be angered and dismayed at this news.

"The SQA continues to be a huge driver of workload for secondary teachers and others who deliver SQA qualifications. Its reputation amongst teachers is in tatters."

Jenny Gilruth told the Scottish parliament that legislation to reform education agencies would not be introduced at present.

Instead the focus will be on possible changes to qualifications after a major report recommended ending exams in S4.

It recommended that school students should not sit exams before fifth year, and argued that a wider range of assessment measures should be used for Highers and Advanced Highers.

The review was carried out for the Scottish government by one of Scotland's leading experts on education Prof Louise Hayward.

She said the post-pandemic challenges faced by teachers would not be helped by legislation.

"Nor can I expect tangible engagement on the outputs of future qualifications if parliament is focused on legislating for these bodies," Ms Gilruth told MSPs.

"Instead, focus must be brought back to our children and young people and improving their educational outcomes."


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