Ahead of the publication of exam results next Tuesday, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP has today warned the Education Secretary about teacher and student anxiety over “unexpected, upsetting or unfair” exam results, as it is revealed schools and colleges have been excluded from the moderation process because of time constraints.
In correspondence with the Education Committee the Scottish Government acknowledged that the SQA has not, as requested by the Committee, been able to engage with schools and colleges in the moderation process, stating:
“There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the difficulty of operating a dialogue which is fair and consistent in its treatment of all centres and candidates. Secondly, it is not possible to enter into a dialogue in the very tight timescales we are working to…”
Beatrice Wishart commented:
“This will be a very anxious weekend for young people waiting on to hear back about their exams, hoping their results will reflect their effort and talents fairly.
“Teachers have been forced to use a problematic grading system, and now we find they have been excluded from the moderating process which could see school wide adjustments or downgrading.
“Many will be imagining more bad days ahead, as they prepare to support worried students who may receive unexpected, upsetting or unfair results.
“Young people should have been to be front and centre of this process. If results day is to be followed by a wave of appeals, the Scottish Government and its agencies need to be equipped to support people through that. No learner should be penalised because of a pandemic.
“Scotland’s exam system must always be built in the interests of learners and teachers, not the SQA. So far, the only people given a voice have been those around John Swinney’s table. That’s not right.”