The Scotsman cartoon: Constance’s exam quandary

THE transition of Scottish schools to the new Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) was always going to be difficult, but few would have predicted the mess it is in today.

Illustration: Iain Green
Illustration: Iain Green

As we report in our news pages, many of the Higher exams sat by pupils in the forthcoming exam diet will be under the old system rather than the new CfE.

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The new education secretary, Angela Constance, said: “We know from provisional entry data from the Scottish Qualifications Authority that significant numbers of those pupils taking Highers this year have been studying the new Highers. We listened to schools who requested flexibility, and we acted.”

The array of outcomes across disciplines and regions places a huge burden on the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Somehow, they have to ensure parity of assessment across all these variables, so that a pupil’s eventual grades accurately reflect his or her abilities.

When the results are out this summer there are bound to be pupils – and parents – who question whether this has been achieved successfully.