Scotland

Scottish exams agency vows to cut workload for teachers

Exam hall Image copyright PA
Image caption Exam organisers hope the new moves will cut down on stress, workload and bureaucracy

The Scottish exams agency is to make moves to cut the workload of teachers surrounding new qualifications.

The SQA said it would limit the amount of verification work and improve support for teachers.

The new national qualifications have been introduced over the past year. The National 4 and 5 qualifications replaced standard grades.

Unions support the new qualifications but have warned that teachers face excessive workload and bureaucracy.

The SQA said there was a higher than normal amount of verification last year to help it gauge the level of understanding of the national standards at department level.

From the new academic year onwards, there will be two verification rounds instead of three.

Dr Janet Brown, chief executive of SQA, said "With the introduction of new qualifications comes the responsibility of ensuring they are fit for purpose.

"I'm pleased to say that the work of teachers and lecturers across the country has been instrumental in helping to make this happen."

Share knowledge

She added: "For the coming year, our approach to quality assurance will involve supporting and strengthening teachers' and lecturers' experience and confidence in understanding and applying national standards.

"There will be two rather than three rounds of verification, with the first round starting in February 2015.

"From September 2014, we'll have a new focus on training selected teaching professionals, which will enable them to share knowledge with their colleagues regarding understanding, applying and maintaining national standards and good assessment practice.

"We have continued to listen to teachers, lecturers and local authorities and will continue to work in partnership to ensure the smooth implementation of the new qualifications for the benefit of the young people of Scotland."

The move comes as the largest teachers union the EIS prepares for its annual conference later this week.

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