New exams have created ‘unsustainable’ workload for teachers and pupils, report finds

Government review acknowledges huge pressure caused by new Scottish qualifications

New qualifications in Scotland have led to an “unintended and unsustainable level of work for learners and teachers”, the government group set up to review the exams has admitted in a report.

The yet-to-be-published document, the contents of which TESS is able to reveal today, stresses “the need to take action to address the very real pressures on teachers”.

The report has been produced by a review group set up by education secretary Angela Constance in January to look at concerns over excessive workload associated with the new qualifications.

The document spells out the problems around suspending mandatory unit assessments, which are carried out internally by teachers.

Review of assessment requirements

A review of the assessment requirements in every subject under the new qualifications is now being carried out by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, the report says. More than 40 schools will be visited and findings will be reported at the end of the month.

The report adds: “At present, aspects of the introduction of new National Qualifications have involved an unintended and unsustainable level of work for learners and teachers. The Scottish government, Education Scotland, the SQA, teachers, schools, colleges and local authorities all have an important role to play in reducing this workload.”

This is an edited version of an article in the 13 May edition of TESS. Subscribers can view the full article here. This week’s TESS magazine is available at all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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