EDUCATION: SQA’s failure to act on pupil warnings makes ‘mockery’ of child rights

By James McEnaney and Karin Goodwin in The Ferret

Secondary school pupils warned the Scottish Qualifications Authority in November 2020 that plans to compare 2021 grades to past results were “unfair” but their input was not acted upon.

At a series of SQA ‘learners’ panels’ they also raised concerns over the pressures of “over-assessment” on their mental health, a freedom of information request by The Ferret has revealed.

Pupils who took assessments under the alternative certification model (ACM) after the traditional exam diet was cancelled last year are currently awaiting their grades. Under this model teachers had to provide “demonstrable evidence” which led to wide-scale testing. Pupils said the assessments, often sat under test conditions, felt like “exams-in-disguise“.

Last month the Scottish Government announced Scotland’s exams body was to be scrapped as part of the biggest overhaul of the nation’s education system in a decade. This is likely to result in major changes to the way pupils are assessed, according to teachers’ unions and educational experts.


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