Somerville: SQA and Education Scotland to be reformed

The move comes amidst criticism over a new grading system.

Somerville: SQA and Education Scotland to be reformed iStock

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and Education Scotland (ES) are to be reformed, it has been announced.

In a statement at the Scottish Parliament, education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said that the role, remit and purpose of both organisations will be considered, as well as their functions and governance arrangements. 

It comes amidst criticism over a new grading system, with pupils allowed to directly appeal their grades, but which could see grades being moved up, down, or stay the same.

Somerville told MSPs that consideration of how to reform the SQA and ES would be a “key priority”.

“I am open to considering what further reform is necessary, with the clear purpose of doing all we can to improve outcomes for children,” she said.

“This includes reducing variability in the outcomes children and young people achieve across the country.

“I want to look at options for reform which ensure that schools get the best possible support and challenge to enable them to improve further and to do the very best for the children in their care.

“To enable them to focus relentlessly on providing the highest quality of learning and teaching for our children, and to ensure that those working in education outwith schools are fully focused on doing everything they can to provide the highest quality of support.”

She added: “I want to signal my intention to start this process by considering how to reform the SQA and Education Scotland. This will be a key priority for me.”

Somerville said the reform plans would be informed by the findings of the OECD review into Curriculum for Excellence, which is due to be published on June 21.