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Exams review decision ‘reflects commitment to equalities and values young people’s views’

7 October 2020

Children in Scotland has responded to this afternoon’s announcement by the Scottish Government that in 2021 National 5 exams will be replaced by a system where grades are awarded based on coursework and teacher judgement.

Higher and Advanced Higher exams will go ahead, Cabinet Secretary for Education John Swinney told the Scottish Parliament.

We welcome publication of the report by Professor Mark Priestley and in particular its recommendations for:

  • A commitment to embedding equalities in all aspects of the development of qualifications systems
  • The development of more systematic processes for working with and engaging young people, as stakeholders and rights holders in education
  • The development of a clear communications strategy, co-constructed with stakeholders, to ensure that the extraordinary arrangements for 2021 are as fully as possible understood by all parties; and
  • A review of qualification appeals systems, including consideration of the rights and roles of young people, in the context of the incorporation of the UNCRC into Scottish law.

Children in Scotland CEO Jackie Brock said:

“The Priestley review valued the views and engagement of young people and this is demonstrated in the central role they are being given in the recommendations.

“We are pleased that the Scottish Government has accepted these and we look forward to working with young people and others to ensure they create a credible and exemplary approach to assessing the hard work and high standards achieved by young people across Scotland.”

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