Return of exams in 2022 - EIS comment

Created on: 18 Aug 2021 | Last modified: 06 Oct 2021

Commenting on today’s announcement by the Scottish Government that exams will return in 2022, should public health advice allow, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said:

“It is no surprise that the Scottish Government has stated its intention to reinstate an exam diet in 2022, should public health advice allow. The EIS would have preferred to see exams by-passed for S4 students in the interests of supporting education recovery and wellbeing among this cohort. 

"It remains to be seen whether the reductions in course content for this year as recognition that young people have been adversely affected by the pandemic through no fault of their own, will suffice. It is essential that appropriate and robust contingencies are in place should it be necessary to cancel the exam diet on public health grounds.

"We saw earlier this year the damage caused by decisions being made too late without adequate contingences in place and the huge workload and stress that was placed on students and staff as a result.

“In the longer term, the process of reviewing the qualifications system and replacing the SQA must learn lessons from recent experience. The EIS has long been concerned regarding the lack of accountability of the Scottish Qualifications Authority to the teaching profession and the over-emphasis placed on annual high-stakes exams at the expense of continuous assessment.

"The EIS believes that now is an appropriate time to consider the future shape of learning and assessment in the senior phase, alternative models of timetabling and the timing of qualifications to better serve the needs of Scotland’s learners, as part of the process around replacing the SQA.”

– Larry Flanagan, EIS General Secretary