Pupils face new exams ‘fiasco’, Scottish Labour warns

Michael Marra has warned of a ‘summer of discontent’ in the education system.

Pupils face new exams ‘fiasco’, Scottish Labour warns Getty Images

Pupils are facing another exam results “fiasco” and the Scottish Government should publish details of the appeals process, Scottish Labour has said.

Although the exams diet was cancelled, pupils and teachers have warned there has been an intense period of exam-like assessments since schools reopened so teachers can provide evidence to back up their grade estimates.

Fiona Robertson, head of the Scottish Qualification Authority, had promised to set out the appeals process for the new system by early May at the latest but she is yet to do so.

Last Wednesday, then education secretary John Swinney told the Scottish Parliament he expected it to be “published shortly”, with the vast majority of pupils’ estimated grades having to be submitted by June 25.

Scottish Labour education spokesman Michael Marra has now written to new education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville, as he warned of a “summer of discontent” in the education system.

In the letter, Marra welcomed Somerville to the role but said it is “unforgivable” that teachers and young people still have “no clarity” about the appeals process.

He wrote: “The most immediate priority in this work is the current exams crisis which is impacting tens of thousands of young people, their teachers and their families right now.

“Your predecessor’s insistence that there are no exams being undertaken did a disservice to the young people working day and night to sit the examinations that have been set.

“It is clear that lessons from last year’s exams fiasco have not be learned, and that this year’s alternative assessment system has the potential to be more damaging than the one used last year.”

He called on Somerville to publish the SQA appeals process and guarantee resits for any pupil who wants one, and to set out a “no detriment” policy for accessing higher or further education.

Marra said: “We are facing a summer of discontent in education.

“It is not of the new minister’s making but it falls to her to deal with it.

“That’s why I am calling on the minister to listen to teachers, education experts, unions and Labour and take the vital action needed now to solve another exams fiasco in our education system.

“Our young people need hope after this dreadful year.

“The minister must deal with the damage and distress that has already been caused by this government.

“She must also start to rebuild opportunity for young Scots’ futures.”

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