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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-00383: Iain Gray (East Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 1 June 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what (a) it and (b) the SQA is doing to ensure that there are no mistakes in future mathematics exam papers and what steps are being taken to improve marking instructions and guidance in consultation with markers.

Answered by: John Swinney 15 June 2016

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is responsible for the setting and marking of exam papers. It has robust processes in place to ensure that papers and marking instructions are accurate and set to the correct standard.

Each year, SQA considers in detail the experience of the exam diet across all qualifications, and introduces any modifications considered necessary. The SQA board, appointed by Scottish Ministers, receives regular updates on all aspects of the diet.

In 2015, the former Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning wrote to the Chair of SQA to seek additional assurances on SQA processes, and subsequently met with the Chief Executive of SQA to review progress.

Scottish Government officials regularly meet with SQA to discuss progress throughout the year on a range of SQA activities.