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Friday, 1 June, 2001, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
Exam markers hit target
Exams box
An assurance has been given over markers
Scotland's education minister has announced that enough markers have been recruited to deal with this year's exam papers.

Jack McConnell's assurance follows a recruitment drive by the Scottish Qualifications Authority aimed at having experienced markers in place for the end of the exam diet.

The announcement is designed to boost confidence in the system and prevent a repeat of last year's fiasco.

All candidates sitting exams this year can be reassured their papers will be marked to a high standard and on time

Jack McConnell
Thousands of pupils received incomplete or inaccurate exam results in 2000.

The number of markers needed increased from 8,800 to 9,420 this year, but when the exams got under way last month the SQA was still 1,250 markers short of that target.

However, Mr McConnell announced on Friday that enough markers were now in place.

He said: "This is a significant improvement on the position last year and all candidates sitting exams this year can be reassured their papers will be marked to a high standard and on time."

He added that lessons had to be learned from the late completion of this year's recruitment programme.

Pupils sitting exams
Pupils are sitting this year's exams
"It is clear we need to carry out a thorough review of the way markers are recruited," he said.

"Potential markers should be recruited much earlier and should be kept better informed of whether they will be required.

"As well as improving recruitment procedures, we are carrying out a thorough review of marker fees.

"These two actions should ensure that all necessary markers are recruited in good time next year."

Some 140,000 candidates will sit Standard Grade, Intermediate, Higher and Advanced Higher exams in Scotland.

This is the first time that the new Advanced Highers - which will replace certificates of sixth year studies, which are being phased out after this year - have been on offer.

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See also:

15 May 01 | Scotland
Headteacher's exam fears
15 May 01 | Scotland
Pupils given exam assurances
08 May 01 | Scotland
'Stress' threat to school exams
05 Apr 01 | Scotland
Exams body 2000 markers short
10 Dec 00 | Scotland
McLeish makes exams pledge
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