Lib Dems to bring Parliament vote on radical reform of SQA and Education Scotland


Scottish Liberal Democrats will on Wednesday ask Parliament to vote to break up Education Scotland and radically reform the SQA.

It is manifestly clear these bodies have lost the confidence of teachers, pupils and parents, letting them down throughout the pandemic, especially over last summer’s exam results’ fiasco.

Four years ago, SNP and Green MSPs votes blocked Parliament from issuing a definitive call for the overhaul of Education Scotland and the SQA, allowing both failing organisations to drift into the pandemic unreformed.

Now Scottish Liberal Democrats are returning again and urging Parliament to agree that neither organisation is "fit for purpose".

We also call on Parliament to

  • state that Education Scotland should be separated into independent inspection and policy functions. At present, there is a conflict of interest.
  • reform the SQA so it is grounded in the teaching profession and made more accountable
  • and to express concern at revelations unearthed by the Scottish Liberal Democrats showing that the Scottish Government and its quangos are spending months “providing comments” on multiple drafts of the ongoing OECD review, supposedly set up to be an independent analysis of Scottish education.

"Education Scotland and the SQA's days should be numbered,” says Fred Mackintosh, Liberal Democrat candidate for Edinburgh Southern in May’s elections for the Scottish Parliament. “They have let down hardworking teachers, pupils and parents throughout this pandemic. At a time of disruption and worry, instead of making peoples' jobs and lives easier, they have made them harder.

"Despite months of warnings, the SQA and John Swinney teamed up to create an exams system and algorithm that actively penalised pupils from the poorest backgrounds.

"Education Scotland and the SQA cannot be trusted with the critical job of helping the education system bounce back. They have lost the confidence of those who they are supposed to serve and have repeatedly show that they are not fit for purpose." 


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