Education Secretary John Swinney has created the expectation of a major reversal on the SQA pupil grading system when he speaks to the parliament on Tuesday.  “These are unprecedented times and as we have said throughout this pandemic, we will not get everything right first time,” he said yesterday. Politicians willing to admit to mistakes […]

How the Education Secretary can save his job


Ahead of the pupil protest outside the SQA’s HQ today, it is worth thinking about the structural disadvantages facing young people from deprived communities in the broader context of this economic crisis. Economics commentator Aditya Chakrabortty wrote yesterday about the enormous ‘Covid jobs crisis’ to come when the furlough scheme finishes at the end of October, with […]

Cecilia’s Cs





Usually on Source Direct we give focused news analysis on one main item, but there are so many things going on in Scottish politics right now we are going to give you a brief snapshot of several different issues today.  1) Economic Recovery report response: Remember Bennie Higgins’ Economic Recovery advisory report for Scottish Government Ministers? […]

Multiple-fronts of Scottish politics: a snapshot


“Given the choice between being ‘credible’ and being fair, a choice was made that strengthened inequality and erected roadblocks to social mobility for the poorest and most disadvantaged. In a just world, it would be the SQA and the Scottish Government that bore the consequences of that decision. In this one, that price will be paid by the nation’s youth”

Sean Bell: Burn down the SQA


“The problem at the heart of the statistical standardisation is that it can be simultaneously unfair to individuals, but also maintain the integrity of the system. However, if system integrity damages the life chances of individuals, then it is not much of a system.” Professor Guy Nason of the London School of Economics’ yesterday, summing up […]

“Somehow I’ve failed an exam I didn’t sit”



With the long-weekend behind us, Source Direct is coming late to the SNP bunfight. The room is being tidied up, and the National Executive Committee are nursing hangovers, as well as one or two bruises. Why did it happen, and what does it mean? First, for those of you who missed all the fun and […]

‘Cherrymandering’ may back-fire on the SNP leadership