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Sunday, 12 August, 2001, 19:25 GMT 20:25 UK
Timetable of an exams crisis
Pupils sitting exams
Thousands of pupils were affected by the crisis
It has been a turbulent year for Scotland's exams body.

The system was plunged into crisis last year when thousands of pupils were left with incomplete or inaccurate results.

BBC Scotland News Online looks back at how the saga has developed over the last 12 months.

26 June 2000: The Scottish Qualifications Authority admits to "teething problems" but says it is committed to getting results out on time.

9 August: SQA admits some pupils may receive Higher certificates with results missing.

10 August: Many youngsters receive incomplete results. Some schools will not receive results for four days.

12 August: SQA chief executive Ron Tuck quits, accepting responsibility for "this unfortunate episode".

Scottish Executive dismisses SNP calls for Education Minister Sam Galbraith's resignation. The SQA insists the problem is over data, not the underlying marking.

13 August: Almost 150,000 results are to be rechecked. All sides insist that the problem is one of "missing data", not inaccurate results.

14 August: Bill Morton is appointed as interim replacement for Mr Tuck.

15 August: 5,000 discrepancies have emerged and the SQA says it will know the extent of the problem by the end of the week. Students are told that no marks will be downgraded.

18 August: Ucas admits that some of the 5,000 Scottish students whose exam results were affected will have missed out on university places.

20 August: SQA says more than 2,000 of the 5,000 youngsters affected will have their positions clarified by the next day, while the rest can expect clarifications "in a matter of days".

21 August: No letters arrive.

22 August: The SQA sets itself a deadline of 20 September for handling priority appeals.

27 August: SQA finishes compiling the missing Higher and CSYS results.

28 August: Mr Morton announces an internal review of the SQA.

29 August: Nearly 5,000 mistakes affecting 4,264 students are discovered in Standard Grade results following preliminary checks.

31 August: Mr Galbraith admits he is "angry" about the SQA's handling of the crisis.

27 September: The Scottish Parliament's education committee begins its inquiry into the exam chaos.

29 October: Jack McConnell takes over as education minister in a cabinet reshuffle which sees Mr Galbraith move to environment.

31 October: It emerges the SQA has missed another deadline for processing non-urgent Higher appeals - and that Mr Morton was not told the deadline had been missed.

2 November: In public, First Minister Henry McLeish tells MSPs that Mr McConnell will take "tough action". In private, SQA board members are asked to resign by Mr McConnell.

3 November: Results of Deloitte Touche inquiry made public, listing a catalogue of management failures by the SQA.

9 November: Mr McConnell reveals the make-up of the SQA's interim board, featuring only eight of the 24 members who were in place before the crisis. Interim chairman John Ward replaces David Miller.

25 November: The SQA says it will start sending out revised certificates to those students caught up in the fiasco - three months after they should have received the correct ones.

30 November: A report by the Scottish Parliament's enterprise and lifelong learning committee clears Henry McLeish and Sam Galbraith of blame for the crisis, but describes the SQA's handling of the fiasco as "fundamentally negligent".

7 December: The Headteachers' Association of Scotland voices concerns that so few exam result appeals have been granted. The organisation alleges that hundreds of youngsters have lost out.

8 December: The education committee report calls for a new culture of transparency at the SQA and says the results system came within a whisker of collapse.

10 December: Mr McLeish pledges there will be no repeat of the exams crisis in Scotland.

23 February: The SQA confirms that it is to move the exam results back by a week, from 9 August to 14 August.

5 April: Mr McConnell tells MSPs that the SQA still needs to find more than 2,000 markers - only four weeks before the exams began.

19 April: A task force is set up to help avert a repeat of the exams fiasco.

1 June: Mr McConnell announces that enough markers have been recruited to deal with exam papers.

3 August: The SQA says it is confident that results will be delivered accurately and on time - although checks still have to be carried out on the results of 2,500 students.

10 August: It emerges that the final bill for avoiding another exams fiasco could top 11m.


Changes imposed

Last year's problems




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11 Aug 01 | Scotland
10 Aug 01 | Scotland
09 Aug 01 | Education
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