Mon 21 Jun, 2021

Commenting on the publication of the OECD report, and the Scottish Government response, Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer MSP said:

 “This report is a damning judgement of Scotland’s exams system and the body which oversees it, so the news that the SQA is effectively being abolished is certainly welcome. As we already knew, the principles of Curriculum for Excellence are sound, but it is near impossible for teachers to deliver in S4-6, because they are stuck teaching to a century-old assessment system instead. It’s a failure of government that the exams system was left largely untouched when the new curriculum was introduced a decade ago. As a result, completely unnecessary barriers have been put in the way of hundreds of thousands of pupils.

“Replacing failed agencies won’t automatically solve this problem though. These changes must go hand in hand with reform of the exams system itself, moving away from the antiquated high-stakes end of term exam model and towards systems of ongoing assessment which judge a pupil’s knowledge and abilities with far more accuracy. The Greens secured a further OECD review of the exams system for exactly this reason and look forward to its publication in the autumn.

“Scottish teachers work some of the highest classroom hours in the developed world, leaving too little time for planning and preparation of quality lessons. Reducing the frankly ridiculous number of tick-box paperwork exercises teachers are expected to complete and scrapping the P1-S3 standardised testing system would go some way to reducing teacher workload. However, the only way to make the significant change the OECD say is needed is to recruit thousands of additional teachers. The Scottish Greens believe something in the region of five and a half thousand additional full-time posts are required and can be delivered within this five-year term of Parliament.”

Get involved

More like this

Greens: Scotland needs powers to crackdown on dirty money

Tue 5 Oct, 2021

The UK's extensive involvement in the 'Pandora Papers' tax avoidance scandal shows the need for Scotland to have the full taxation powers which come with independence, according to the Scottish Greens.

The call follows the publication of the ‘Pandora Papers’, the biggest ever leak of offshore data. The release has been coordinated by a team of 600 reporters around the world.

The papers underline the central role of the UK, its overseas territories and the City of London in particular, in “dirty money” and the offshore world.

Fight for the planet: Greens applaud climate strikers

Fri 24 Sep, 2021

The Scottish Greens have encouraged young people to 'fight like hell for the planet' at today's global climate strike rallies.

Scottish Green MSPs attended strikes across the country, with Maggie Chapman speaking in Edinburgh and Ross Greer in Glasgow. Gillian Mackay attended a protest in East Kilbride, Ariane Burgess in Forres and Mark Ruskell was in St Andrews.

Greens: exam appeals system must not embed inequality

Thu 16 Sep, 2021

The system of appealing exams should not give those at wealthy private schools an unfair advantage, the Scottish Greens have said.

At FMQS Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer raised the issue after exams body the SQA published plans for next year’s assessments, which suggested direct appeals would remain in place if exams were again disrupted by COVID. 

The pre-COVID system of appeals saw schools charged a fee by the SQA if they wished for a pupil’s exam paper to be remarked. This led to private schools appealing grades far more than state schools.