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Exam changes to remain in place into next year – SQA

Exams got under way this week (Ben Birchall/PA)
Exams got under way this week (Ben Birchall/PA)

Changes to the way exams are assessed will continue into next year, according to the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Modifications were made to assessments for National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher courses in order to reduce workloads for teachers and pupils amid the pandemic, and the SQA said these will now remain in place during the 2022/23 school year.

The announcement comes after the 2022 exam diet began earlier this week. It is the first time exams have taken place since the start of the pandemic.

Scottish Parliament Education Committee
Fiona Robertson of the SQA said changes will continue into the new academic year (Fraser Bremner)

SQA chief executive Fiona Robertson said: “We recognise the ongoing disruption to teaching and learning that young people across Scotland have experienced since the start of the pandemic.

“After careful consideration, and having reflected on the feedback we received, we can confirm that the current modifications to assessment will remain in place for 2022-23.

“The effects of the disruption will not go away after the summer break.

“Carrying the assessment modifications forward into the new academic year will help to provide some certainty for learners, teachers and lecturers and help free up more time for learning and teaching of the course content, while maintaining the integrity and credibility of their qualifications.”

‘A’ Level Exam Stock
A new exams body will be created (Ben Birchall/PA)

Last month, a decision was made to replace SQA and Education Scotland with new organisations as part of an overhaul of the education system following a report by expert Professor Ken Muir.

Prof Muir’s report recommended that the SQA’s replacement be called Qualifications Scotland, though a name has yet to be decided.

His recommendation, which was accepted by the Government, was that the new exams organisation should have a different governance structure with more input from learners and teachers.

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