Fri 27 Nov, 2020

New advice from the SQA that pupils preparing for music exams who are unable to be taught properly should try ‘learning a different instrument’ is “ridiculous and insulting”, Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer has said.

The exams body has issued guidance on how COVID is impacting exams which includes the line: “Brass, woodwind and voice candidates, who are unable to be supported by face to face learning and teaching leading up to their assessment, might wish to consider the option of learning a different instrument.” 

Responding, Ross Greer said: “To suggest that a young person who has spent up to nine years learning an instrument and honing their skill should start again with another totally unrelated instrument just a few months before their exam is both ridiculous and insulting. The SQA have proven yet again that they are unfit for the role they hold in supporting and certifying young people's learning.

“The root cause of this farce is the Scottish Government's insistence on dragging out its final decision on Higher and Advanced Higher exams. This is despite it being patently obvious already that exams cannot go ahead in anything like a fair manner, given how much teaching time some young people have missed compared to others.

“Cancelling exams and moving to a system based on assessment of the work a young person has been able to complete throughout the year, factoring in specific disruption like that faced by woodwind and voice musicians, is the only viable option."

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