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Friday, 3 November, 2000, 11:58 GMT
Exams crisis timetable

26 June: 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.

It gradually emerges that up to 1,400 pupils may be left waiting for results, after some were left off certificates.

10 August: Youngsters should be learning their results today but for many, these are incomplete.

Some schools will not receive results for four days. Head teachers call the situation "unacceptable".

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

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

13 August: Almost 150,000 results are to be rechecked.

All sides insist after the meeting that the problem is one of "missing data", not inaccurate results. Sam Galbraith dismisses calls for his resignation.

14 August: Bill Morton appointed as interim replacement for Ron 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.

16 August: Two SQA staff have been sent home, it emerges today. SQA says no official disciplinary action has been taken.

17 August: Aberdeen University says it will admit students on strength of predicted, rather than actual, results to avoid further anguish.

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

Four Scottish universities - Aberdeen, Napier, Robert Gordon, and Paisley - are taking students on the basis of predictions.

19 August: Ucas says it has so far received updates for 3,876 students, of whom 1,512 had sought college and university places through Ucas.

But it says it has also been given a second list of nearly 6,000 results suspected of being incorrect.

20 August: SQA says more than 2,000 of the 5,000 youngsters affected will have their positions clarified by tomorrow.

The remaining 5,000 will have their results dealt with quickly and can expect clarifications "in a matter of days".

21 August: No letters arrive today.

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

25 August: Ucas says it has exam results for all but a "very small number" of students and has confirmed course places for nearly all Scottish applicants.

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

It emerges the new advanced Higher exams have suffered a knock-on effect with some schools waiting two months for paperwork in some subjects.

28 August: Bill 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 check.

30 August: SQA announces its director of awards David Elliot has left "by mutual agreement", while Jack Greig, head of operations and the man directly responsible for administration of the exams, has been suspended.

It emerges up to 300 students who sat Standard Grade physical education could have their results adjusted downwards following a data entry error.

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

1 September: Tony Blair backs Sam Galbraith on a visit to Glasgow, calling him an "outstanding" minister, but describes the exams fiasco as "regrettable".

27 September: Education committee begins its inquiry into the exam chaos.

5 October: Political row is now raging over whether advice from civil servants to ministers should be made public to the two parliament committees' inquiries.

A compromise is reached, under which the two committee conveners are promised confidential access to this advice.

9 October: The education committee, meeting in Hamilton, accepts this deal.

Meanwhile, youngsters tell that meeting of exam anguish.

24 October: Enterprise and lifelong learning committee accepts the compromise.

31 October: It emerges the SQA has missed another deadline for processing non-urgent Higher appeals.

Nearly 200 still not dealt with by the 29 October deadline. Bill Morton not told the deadline was missed.

2 November: In public, First Minister Henry McLeish tells MSPs Jack McConnell will take "tough action".

In private, board members are asked to resign by Mr McConnell.

3 November:

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03 Nov 00 | Scotland
Exams board offers to quit
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