BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Sunday, 12 August, 2001, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
Headteacher praises SQA
Exams signs
Exam results have been sent to schools
Michael Lloyd writes for BBC News Online

A headteacher who was fiercely critical of last year's exams fiasco has spoken of the "relief" he felt when the Scottish Qualifications Authority e-mailed pupils' results to his school.

Norrie Mackay, from Coatbridge High School in Lanarkshire, said the SQA "probably" got it right when they sent the results to him on Friday.

Mr Mackay's comments came as it was revealed that the final bill for avoiding another SQA exams fiasco could top 11m.

Despite the exams body's assertion that it is well on track to deliver the results on time and post certificates it has admitted that more than 1,400 students - most of whom attend colleges - could receive incomplete exam results.


More confusion has been caused by about 10 pupils or so whom the SQA said were presented by us but whom we have never heard of

Norrie Mackay
Mr Mackay, queried 30% of last year's results, but he admitted that he felt like shouting "Bingo" when he got sight of this years awards.

He said: "It's a major relief, although we can't be completely certain about the marks, until the pupils get their certificates on Tuesday."

Last year one of the big discrepancies was between the figures that were sent to the schools and the qualifications pupils actually got.

But Mr Mackay said he thinks the SQA has "probably" got it right this time.

"There are some discrepancies, around 3% of the results are either missing, or don't match the expectations we had.

'More confusion'

"But I have to check the register to see who was absent that day, before I can be certain there has been a mistake."

Mr Mackay said errors of 3-4% were well within what was always allowed for, before the SQA took over its marking role last year. But things went wildly wrong in 2000.

Amongst last year's disasters, some pupils had course awards at Higher but no unit passes listed, while others had external assessment grades but had not taken the exams.

Pupils
Pupils should receive results on Tuesday
It took Mr Mackay weeks to get basic - and very dubious information from the SQA.

"More confusion has been caused by about 10 pupils or so whom the SQA says were presented by us but whom we have never heard of," he wrote in a diary of mishaps.

This year it is a different story. Mr Mackay said: "I felt sorry for the SQA last year.

"Their predecessors had an international reputation and exported expertise, which is what makes it critical that the SQA gets its reputation back."

This time the figures came through smoothly - in marked contrast to 2000.

He added: "We were scrambling about trying to get the figures then but I was able to access them from our computer system at quarter to nine on Friday morning."

"I take my hat off to the SQA."


Latest

Changes imposed

Last year's problems

Background:

WEBCAST

AUDIO VIDEO

Go to BBC Student EssentialsExam results?
Essential advice and information for students
See also:

10 Aug 01 | Scotland
30 Aug 00 | Scotland
09 Aug 01 | UK Education
03 Aug 01 | Scotland
25 May 01 | UK Education
21 May 01 | UK Education
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

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes