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Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by gnulinux, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Just in case anyone is in any doubt over the seriousness of this issue, a Petition is now before the Scottish Parliament ...

    "Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to (1) consider the
    establishment of an independent examinations regulatory body, to ensure a quick and
    effective resolution to complaints about the quality, accuracy and validity of SQA
    examinations and (2) consider the limitations of the 2002 Scottish Public Services
    Ombudsman Act to appropriately adjudicate on complaints made by individual teachers
    or schools concerning alleged maladministration and service failure in the provision of
    national examinations by the Scottish Qualifications Authority."

  2. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

  3. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

  4. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    12 November 2013: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the basis that the Scottish Government has considered the two points set out in the petition and has stated that it does not intend to take the action sought by the petitioner.

    The SNP dominated committee just did what their bosses ordered - without even discussing the issue. This is a complete subversion of democracy.
  5. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Extract "...the SQA is disinclined to accept the validity of complaints from teachers about the fairness or standards of the examinations they set. Politicians have shown a reluctance to investigate questions about whether the SQA is subject to adequate tests of its accountability."

  6. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Given that you're pointing the finger at the SNP, I presume you just forgot to include the links to the other three parties' statements supporting the petition?
  7. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

  8. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    And this is part of a statement sent out by ADES about the results ...

    The Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) welcomes today's awards of SQA
    results to thousands of Scottish Learners. ADES congratulates the successful candidates for their
    hard work, their teachers for their skill and dedication, and SQA for successfully managing a
    complex examination diet in this, a transitional period.
    Across Scotland, Directors are carrying out an early analysis of their local authority results and it
    will take a few weeks until the detail of the results will be available. Initial comments however from
    authorities seem very promising with some very significant improvements in performance. Higher
    English in particular has seen some outstanding improvement and concerns over Higher Maths
    seem to be have been unfounded.

  9. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter


    An SQA spokesman said: "The National 5 computing science exam paper met our course and assessment specifications and allowed candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. The anecdotal feedback we have received from teachers and candidates has been positive."

    Surely the case for an independent regulator of the SQA has been made? This is just the most outrageous and embarrassing nonsense. When is the SNP Government going to wake up to the fact that the SQA is grossly incompetent??
  10. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Just because there are occasional problems doesn't mean your supposed solution will fix them. Plenty of errors (including outright impossible questions) in exams down in England.
    suzuki1690 likes this.
  11. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    The SQA is a public body and therefore should be accountable for their actions. The reality is that they are incompetent on a regular basis but are not being held to account. Their default reaction to a crisis seems to be to cover-up, clam-up and everything else bar own-up. We need an Independent Regulator for the SQA. Education is a 'devolved' matter and clearly the SNP Government cannot be trusted to investigate the SQA's behaviour. This was demonstrated when a previous Public Petition into the SQA's conduct was closed down by the SNP Government for no good reason.

    In terms of publicity of the SQA's recent blunders, only one of the major newspapers in Scotland covered it as far as I am aware, i.e. the Herald. It does seem that other newspapers in Scotland are not bringing these issues to the public's attention. Why???
  12. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Again, what makes you think that some sort of "ofqual" will prevent mistakes being made? It hasn't in England.
  13. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    'Examiners admit to coding errors in computing exam'

    "EXAMINERS have admitted that a computing exam sat by thousands of Scottish pupils contained coding errors.
    This summer’s National 5 computing science exam provoked a backlash from teachers who said it was of the worst ever set.
    In the immediate aftermath the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) denied there was a problem saying feedback had been positive" ...


    We need a MacOfqual.
  14. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

  15. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    How exactly would your MacOfqual prevent these sort of mistakes. You may notice I asked you the same thing in June and you neglected to respond.

    You're falling for the old fallacy - responding to "things are terrible, we must do something" with "this is something, therefore we must do it". Nobody seriously disputes that SQA has problems. What you have yet to explain is why another layer of bureaucracy will fix the problem. Do you think the existence of Education Scotland fixes problems in schools?
  16. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    These 'problems' should not be happening at all, but they have been occurring with monotonous regularity over a long period of time. Quality assurance, and accountability, seem to be almost non-existant. Nothing changes. Battening down the hatches in the face of legitimate criticisms is no answer. An independent regulator would have the power to force change/improvement.

    As things stand the SQA is just an embarrassment to the Scottish Education system.
  17. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    England has a regulator, and has just as many problems with errors and screw-ups, and a huge problem of a race to the bottom on the complexity of exams to boot. How does a regulator help? I have more confidence in the standards in SQA exams than I ever had with, say, EdExcel. I was doing my A-Levels when England introduced a new exam system and OCR screwed up the marking of some units disastrously (as in 2 grades). Occasionally things go wrong. Could they be better? Yes. Does yet another inspectorate achieve that? Fat chance.
  18. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    How would MacOfqual differ from the current scrutiny? Would it also comment on ministers blurting out announcements about changes before the SQA had them in place?
  19. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    The SQA, aided by the SNP Government, has dodged scrutiny for years. An independent regulator would be precisely that, i.e independent!
  20. learningoutcome

    learningoutcome New commenter


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