BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Scotland
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Sunday, 15 April, 2001, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
SQA faces non-payment threat
SQA staff at work
There are fears about the approaching exams
The Scottish Qualifications Authority could be left with a huge debt if there was to be a repeat of the summer 2000 exam crisis.

Education authorities and further education colleges are understood to be taking legal advice on their requirement to pay the SQA if there are problems with the exams.

A report in Scotland on Sunday said the move means the beleaguered quango could effectively be facing a performance-related pay regime.

The SQA is already about 3m in debt and the withholding of as much as 20m - should there be another debacle - could cause the body considerable difficulties.

'They should get it right'

Highland Council is said to be leading the action and is looking for support for its stance from other Scottish local authorities.

Andy Anderson, an SNP councillor and Highland education convener quoted in the paper, said: "We pay them an awful lot of money and we should get a level of service that matches the size of our payment.

"They should be getting it right, and if they don't we shouldn't have to pay the full fee."

Danny McCafferty, Cosla's education spokesman, said he was supportive of the move.

Precedent

He told the paper: "This is an innovative concept that would show we are working hard to get value for money for council taxpayers."

Highland Council set a precedent for the action last year when it withheld a payment of 200,000 in protest at the exam mix-up.

However, it was forced to settle the debt when it became clear it would not be able to register candidates for this year's exams if the bill remained unpaid.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

05 Apr 01 | Scotland
Exams body 2000 markers short
20 Mar 01 | Scotland
Exams chief sees further problems
23 Feb 01 | Scotland
SQA confirms exams delay plan
11 Feb 01 | Scotland
SQA exams delay plans
19 Jan 01 | Scotland
More students despite exams fiasco
12 Dec 00 | Scotland
Exams body warns of more trouble
11 Dec 00 | Scotland
Legal bid over exam appeals
10 Dec 00 | Scotland
McLeish makes exams pledge
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories