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Commenting on the statement by the Education Secretary on the Alternative Certification Model and the appeals process for this summer’s qualifications, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:
 
“The NASUWT did not support the Alternative Certification Model for the awarding of this summer’s qualifications, partly because we did not believe that appropriate safeguards had been built into the process to protect teachers from being swamped in bureaucracy and excessive workload.
 
“Now it appears from the very brief information set out today that the deadlines and process for submitting appeals might place an expectation of teachers being available during the summer holidays to engage with the process.
 
“The NASUWT remains opposed to any proposal for the handling of appeals which would require teachers to be involved in managing the appeals process during the summer holidays.
 
“The NASUWT fails to understand how the Minister can describe the current certification model as “working well in practice”, when numerous reports from our members demonstrate the overwhelming and unacceptable levels of workload and anxiety the process adopted for this year’s qualifications is having on teachers.
 
“The Minister has sought to portray the process for developing the arrangements for qualifications as collegiate, but the NASUWT was excluded from the decision making forum. Perhaps if a truly collaborative approach had been adopted, the wholly chaotic and disjointed approach taken by the SQA and the Scottish Government to the whole issue of awarding qualifications this year could have been avoided.  

“There are now just a few weeks until grades must be submitted, yet details of the appeal process are only just being set out and even these lack the necessary clarity and detail to support teachers and pupils.
 
“Today’s announcement only reinforces the view of the NASUWT that the SQA and the National Qualifications Group are not fit for purpose and that wholesale review is required.”  

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