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Commenting on the SQA’s ‘direction of travel’ update on the plans for Highers and Advanced Highers in 2021, Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary said:

“The NASUWT has significant concerns around the increased workload the move to teacher assessment as a method for awarding Highers and Advanced Highers will create for teachers.

“In making the decision to scrap exams next year, the Deputy First Minister was clear that the assessment, marking and quality assurance required for delivering the Alternative Certification Model has to be a priority.

“While the SQA has an important role to play, schools and employers also need much more support from Government than just a refocus of in-service days and the offer of a one-off payment to address the consequences of this choice.

“Teachers will need dedicated time and space to make this system of teacher assessment as reliable and fair as possible.
“The NASUWT will continue to press the Scottish Government and employers to address the significant workload burdens these changes to 2021 exams will create.”

NASUWT National Official Scotland Jane Peckham said:

“We note that further detail of how the system of teacher assessment will work and guidance for schools on its implementation is to be published in January.

“While the SQA does not intend to provide schools with a prescriptive model of assessment, it will be critical that it encourages and enables schools to put in place models of assessment which keep bureaucracy and workload to the minimum required to ensure accuracy and confidence in the assessing of pupils’ abilities.

“Equally, schools must not jump the gun and should wait for the fuller guidance from the SQA before drawing up their assessment systems.”


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