Performance of SQA and Education Scotland ‘not good enough’

Iain Gray MSP has today said that the SQA and Education Scotland have failed to meet the challenges of the pandemic and have failed to support teachers and pupils adequately.

Speaking in the chamber during the education debate, Iain Gray said:

“When the pandemic hit, teachers, who, yes, did a heroic job to move to remote learning virtually overnight, were left for months without leadership from Education Scotland to support these efforts.

“The Cabinet Secretary talks about the Education Scotland reviews of remote learning in the second lockdown, but those are reviews mostly of what everyone else is doing to make remote learning work – they are not what Education Scotland is doing.

“Meanwhile, the SQA ignored months of advice that they were designing a certification model which was an accident waiting to happen – and indeed it happened.

“And we seem to have learned so little. Only today, we saw yet another iteration of SQA advice, months after the exams were cancelled for the second time, with time running out yet again, and teachers saying for many weeks they needed this information earlier.

“ And It was this Parliament, seized of the seriousness of these issues prior to the pandemic, and without confidence in Education Scotland or the SQA to even recognise these problems never mind fix them, that forced the Cabinet Secretary to  the review. 

“And now we discover that although their work is in his hands, he intends to use the pandemic as an excuse to deny this Parliament sight of their findings.

“That is not good enough, and the performance of Education Scotland and the SQA has not been good enough either. It is not gratuitous to say that this afternoon – it is absolutely necessary.”

Watch Mr Gray’s full contribution to the debate here.