Inequality is entrenched in our education system, and the new ‘appeals’ process is just the tip of a much more challenging iceberg

Posted: December 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

This Little Earth

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) have, unsurprisingly, declared the new approach to exam appeals a success: the number of appeals has plummeted from 66’000 in 2013 to 8500 this year; successful appeals have dropped to just 2000 from 32’000 last year; and the costs to the (taxpayer funded) SQA have been slashed (having reached an eye-watering £750’000 in 2013).

On the face of it this all sounds fantastic for Scottish education – there has clearly been a massive reduction in what some term ‘speculative appeals’, ensuring a much more rigorous examination system and, if you choose to spin it this way, representing very high confidence levels within the teaching profession. What’s not to like?

Quite a lot, as it happens, because the reality is quite different. Despite the understated descriptions of this change, the new system marks a radical and retrograde step from an organisation still struggling with the implementation…

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  1. J Williams says:

    So true … some people who were working well all year then got a bad exam mark… we have no way of knowing what it was they did wrong … if the paper was marked correctly … the appeal will do a recount … possibly a remark but someone said it wasnt a full re-marking … but there is now just no way of sorting out if you have a poor exam for whatever reason … and some of the questions in the Chemistry were poor questions … so what if the exam is poorly designed ? no way to have any come-back for that now …. I am losing faith in the system rapidly … and employers might as well …. I see only very over-anxious kids doing well – they study 8 hours a day I have heard and dont do much else … this is not what we want to reward surely.

    As you are an English teacher I just wondered though if you think they may have used “New Higher English” questions in the Old Higher ? As there was not really a good question for Romeo and Juliet …

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