Cancelled higher examinations: Union calls for abolition of pre-lims


As part of the alternative appraisal process implemented following John Swinney’s decision to remove Higher and Advanced Higher exams in 2021, according to Scotland’s biggest teachers’ union, Prelims should be abolished.

The EIS emphasized that the elimination of the Prelims would help to generate more student teaching time.

The EIS’s call comes at a time when schools are awaiting the SQA’s advice after the education secretary announced that due to Covid-related disruption, next year’s examinations will not take place.

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“Following the announcement… that the examination diet will be cancelled next May, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “Schools will seek urgent guidance from the SQA, but it seems obvious that the alternative evaluation model will build on the methodology already set out for National 5, i.e. professional judgment based on a variety of evidence gathered later in the session to allow full teaching.

We would expect the advice to state that it is appropriate to set aside scheduled pre-tests in lieu of extra teaching time. For certain schools, this would be disruptive, which is why we recommended a much earlier diet decision, but if we want to ensure equality for all students, this is the solution required.

Meanwhile, in its call for the recruitment of more teachers to help schools deal with the coronavirus pandemic, the Scottish government failed for the second time in three weeks.

In a non-binding vote last month, MPs had earlier directed the Scottish government to hire at least 2,000 new full-time teachers.

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A Conservative motion expressing “disappointment” that ministers had not yet presented plans to fulfill the goal was passed by 59 votes to four, with 61 abstentions, and renewed calls for the hiring of additional teachers.

In Holyrood, opposition parties have accused ministers of negligence and again called for action to hire more school workers to deal with the “crippling” workload.

Mr. Swinney replied that £ 80 million had been allocated by the Scottish government and 1,400 new teachers and 246 support staff had been employed.

“These additional resources are bringing much-needed resilience to schools and the education system,” he said.


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