Greens welcome SQA reversal on exam paper release

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has revealed to a Green MSP that it will overturn its decision to block teachers from viewing exam papers for 24 hours after the exam is sat.

During a meeting of Holyrood’s education committee Ross Greer also forced an admission from the SQA that the exam body should have consulted teachers and pupils before making its initial ruling, which was put in place for the 2017 exam season. This decision led the EIS teaching union to say that the SQA needed to show greater trust in teachers.

Greer, the Greens’ education spokesperson, has been pressing both the SQA and the Scottish Government on the issue since May.

West of Scotland MSP, Ross Greer said:

“This restriction should never have been made in the first place. It has only served to further damage the strained relationship between teachers and the SQA and cause more stress and anxiety to pupils sitting exams. There is a clear value in young people being able to talk through the exam with their teacher while it is fresh in their minds so I'm pleased that the SQA has overturned its initial decision.

“Pupils can once again seek reassurance from teachers on the same day that they have sat the exam, rather than go through the stress of a day's information vacuum where their teachers are unable to explain exam papers they haven't yet seen. The lesson for the SQA, which I am glad they now accept, is to consult teachers and pupils before making such important decisions on exams.”