The ‘R’ rate in Scotland “could have been as high as 1.3” last week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday. At the same time, they think there was only 250 infectious people in Scotland. So Coronavirus is at a low base level, but if on average each person with Covid-19 is infecting 1.3 others, the […]

‘R’ rate: Scotland in the covid-19 danger zone




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


“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”


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


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


Allan Crosbie, national executive member of the EIS teaching union, says he wants to feel like a teacher, not an SQA clerk – the response of educational authorities to Covid-19 has so far been a massive wasted opportunity. I’ve been an English teacher for 26 years and a PT for half of that time. Too […]

Would it be so bad to trust teachers during Covid-19?


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?