Education Secretary John Swinney’s U-turn was about as complete as could be, to the extent that it was more an O than a U. All those SQA moderators may as well not bothered – Swinney has rubbed out their markings.  The questions about what this means for the future of Scottish education are profound (David […]

Grading U-turn is the starting pistol on 2021 election



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



Let’s start with the good news. One in every 200 tests are now coming back positive for Covid-19 in Scotland. From 32,021 tests in Scotland last week, 155 were positive, just 0.5 per cent. The WHO says tests should be delivering sub-5 per cent results for two weeks before lockdown easing measures are considered, so […]

Swinney’s gamble


The BBC Disclosure documentary into the Scottish Government’s response to Covid-19 raises difficult questions, which require better answers than what we have had so far by way of explanation of the early decisions which were made. A University of Edinburgh epidemiological simulation has found that if Scotland had lockdown two weeks earlier, from 9 March, […]

After Disclosure: Time for SGoRR transparency


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said Scotland is on a search for a “new normal”. She wrote over the weekend that when “the kaleidoscope of our lives is shaken there is an opportunity to see them put back together differently, and see a new way of doing things.” What could this mean in Education? Never […]

A “new normal” in Education?