Wed 2 Jun, 2021

The SQA appeals system will force young people to take a perverse gamble, according to Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer MSP. His remarks come after it was confirmed by Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville that the appeals process could see marks downgraded as well as upgraded, despite calls from children’s rights experts for a ‘no-detriment’ approach to be taken.

Speaking in parliament this afternoon, Mr Greer highlighted the risk of the newly announced appeals process increasing the chance of downgrading.

Ross Greer said:

“I said last week that the SQA had lost the confidence of Parliament. Nothing we heard today changes that.

“The lack of a no-detriment approach to appeals means young people will be taking a perverse gamble.

“Schools will submit the strongest evidence they have in support of the initial grade – why would they have stronger evidence, suitable for an appeal but which they chose not to submit in the first place?

“It seems the risk of downgrading is increased by an appeals process reliant purely on limited and likely weaker evidence, rather than on the professional judgement of teachers.

"It appears personal circumstances such as immediate family bereavement due to covid won’t even be taken into account.

“The Education Secretary failed to confirm that the National Qualifications Group signed off on this appeals process. There is no clarity as to whether young people will have the opportunity to ask questions directly of the SQA and there was no answer when I asked about the lack of consideration for exceptional individual circumstances. These points need addressed urgently.”

Get involved

More like this

Polling analysis puts Scottish Greens on record high

Wed 15 Sep, 2021

Analysis of Holyrood polling shows the Scottish Greens on record high popularity following the cooperation agreement with the Scottish Government.

Polling research site Ballot Box Scotland has analysed stats from the Holyrood polling figures in the latest ComRes polling for the Scotsman, which put the Scottish Greens on 13 per cent for the regional list vote.

The analysis suggests this would elect a record 13 Scottish Green MSPs if an election were held today, up from the 8 seats the Greens secured in May.

Schools need clarity to mitigate COVID surge

Wed 8 Sep, 2021

Clearer guidance for schools to manage covid outbreaks may be needed, Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer has said, after reports of widespread absences amongst pupils and school staff across the country and instances of Test & Protect failing to contact pupils who have been in close contact with a positive case.

In her statement, the First Minister acknowledged the role of schools in the rapid spread of the virus, with 9,000 positive cases in the last week and 11,000 in the previous week amongst 15-24 year olds.

Independent Scotland must be free of nuclear weapons

Thu 2 Sep, 2021

Turning the Faslane naval base into a nuclear armed Gunatanamo Bay style British enclave once Scotland becomes independent would be completely unacceptable, Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer has said.

The Financial Times has reported that this is one of the contingencies drawn up by the Ministry of Defence should Scotland become independent.

Ross Greer, Green MSP for the West of Scotland region which includes the Faslane and Coulport facilities, said: