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Commenting on the publication of the Scottish exam results, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“Yet again we have another outstanding set of exam results which are a testament to the hard work of pupils and the dedication and commitment of their teachers.

“It is clear that standards have been maintained across the board and overall attainment rates across Highers and the National 4 and 5 exams are in line with those achieved last year.

“However, the fall in National 4 presentations reflects the NASUWT’s long-standing concerns about its credibility as a qualification. While these concerns have finally been acknowledged by the SQA, which has promised reform, the confused approach to reform of National 5 for the coming year gives little confidence that effective action will be taken to make National 4 a qualification that is fit for purpose.

“The exam results have been achieved against a backdrop of considerable anxiety and concern by pupils and teachers about the content, structure and consistency of the exams since the restructuring of the qualifications system was undertaken.

“Pupils and teachers have faced successive years of turmoil as a result of the poor strategic oversight of the curriculum and qualifications system by the SQA, Education Scotland and the Scottish Government.

“This has not only added to the anxiety faced by students and their teachers at what is already a stressful time, it has resulted in teachers facing additional bureaucracy and workload.

“Pupils are best supported to achieve their potential in these critical exams if they are being taught by teachers who are able to fully focus on meeting the needs of their students in the classroom.

“While the excessive burdens which have been placed on teachers by the qualifications reforms have been acknowledged by the Scottish Government, there is still little sign of much tangible action to address these issues and ensure that the qualifications system supports the hard work being undertaken in schools across Scotland by pupils and their teachers.”

Jane Peckham, NASUWT National Official Scotland, said:

“Continued exam success requires action by the Scottish Government to create the conditions that will support teachers to continue to deliver the best education for all pupils.

“The Scottish Government cannot rely on the goodwill and commitment of teachers to continue to achieve the success seen in today’s results.”
 

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