The official economic data for the first half of 2020 is out, and according to the ONS there is only one country in Europe that Britain has not had a deeper recession than in the first half of the year. Spain. Apart from Belgium, the two countries which have the worst deaths per million from […]

No time for fiddling while Rome burns




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


“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”


What to do about schools is becoming a big problem for the Scottish Government, with no clear solution yet in sight and significant confusion about what the Scottish Government is trying to achieve. The problem is three dimensional: 1) how to stop pupils spreading the virus by being in close contact with one another, as […]

Scrapping exams is the key to solving the schools conundrum