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Sunday, 12 August, 2001, 06:35 GMT 07:35 UK
Exams system to be simplified
Pupils celebrating results
Pupils are due to receive results on Tuesday
Education Minister Jack McConnell has promised changes to Scotland's exam system to ensure that last year's results fiasco will never be repeated.

Speaking two days before students were due to receive this year's certificates, he said there would be moves to simplify the way results are handled.

The Scottish Executive has predicted that the bill for shoring up the system this year could top 11m.

Jack McConnell with pupils
Jack McConnell: "A basic right"

Last year thousands of pupil's received late or incomplete results.

But the Scottish Qualifications Authority has said it is well on track to deliver accurate results on time this year.

It has already e-mailed exam results to schools and colleges across the country, although by the end of last week there were still anomalies to be resolved over the results of 1,400 students.

SQA chief executive Bill Morton admitted that a "handful" of pupils might be posted incomplete certificates on 14 August.

On Sunday, Mr McConnell said: "Many people in schools, the SQA and our education department have worked very hard to deliver these results.

"Parents, teachers, pupils and even politicians have pulled together to put last year's problems behind us.


We will simplify this exam system and build improved procedures in to the administration

Jack McConnell

"The reputation of Scotland's examinations and the young people affected means that national effort must continue over the next few days and I am sure that everyone will respond."

He said that, as a parent, he knew that Tuesday would be a big day in homes across Scotland.

"Accurate exam results should not be an exception, they are a basic right," he added.

"After Tuesday, our priority is to make sure this year's worries are not repeated again.

"We will simplify this exam system and build improved procedures in to the administration to deliver results year on year.

"Future candidates expect and deserve no less."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Rob Smith reports
"Most of the pupils... should get their results on time"
Ronnie Smith, Educational Institute of Scotland
"We cannot carry on putting in 11m every year"

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Changes imposed

Last year's problems

Background:

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

12 Aug 01 | Scotland
10 Aug 01 | Scotland
09 Aug 01 | UK Education
03 Aug 01 | Scotland
21 May 01 | UK Education
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