Sunday, 22 August 2010

Standard Grades replacement

A constituent recently wrote to me expessing concern that there appears to be still no criteria for the new national exams that will be replacing Standard Grades. He asked if this meant that teaching staff have to start teaching the new curriculum, but with no idea about the detail of the exams that they should be preparing pupils for?

The Head of Secondary Education at the City Council has advised me as follows :

"The new examination framework will not begin until May 2014. Pupils in the present S2, S3 and S4 stages will continue to sit Standard grade exams until May 2013. The SQA is currently developing the new examination framework and is working with teachers from subject departments across the country, including a number from Dundee, to develop the new exams.

These will be tried and trialled in schools and refined to ensure that they are fit for purpose. The Scottish Government has made it clear that the new assessment framework will build on the learning experiences and outcomes actoss the subjects being studied in S1-3."

It would, of course, be a bit bizarre if a pupil undertook the new curriculum but sat the examinations that were a product of the old curriculum. I have therefore asked for, and received, an assurance that no pupil on the new curriculum for excellence will sit the old Standard Grade examinations.