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Saturday, 12 August, 2000, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
Exams chief resigns
Ron Tuck graphic
The SQA say Ron Tuck left by "mutual agreement"
The head of the Scottish Qualifications Association - which is responsible for issuing exam results - has resigned.

Ron Tuck, chief executive of the organisation, announced on Saturday that he was stepping down.

An SQA spokesman said the exams' boss had gone by mutual agreement and a replacement would be announced soon.

Mr Tuck's decision to go comes amid a catalogue of problems which have dogged the new Higher Still exams.

The matter came to a head on Thursday when it was revealed that hundreds of pupils had not received their results on time and many hundreds more had been issued with the wrong results.

SQA logo
The association is responsible for issuing results
In a statement, Mr Tuck said: "As I have already made it clear, I accept full responsibility for the difficulties which have arisen in the issue of this year's certificates. I would like again to apologise to the candidates and their parents for any distress which has been caused.

"I would also like to pay tribute to my staff who are not in any way to blame for these problems.

"On the contrary, they have worked with selfless dedication and commitment and I am proud of them all.

"In time, the SQA will put this unfortunate episode behind it and go on to become the world-class organisation I know it is destined to be. In the meantime, I will offer any assistance which the Scottish Executive or the SQA require in the resolution of the current problem."

Mr Tuck's departure comes as Scottish Education Minister Sam Galbraith was placed under pressure to resign.

The Scottish National Party called on the Labour politician to step down after he had "failed to take appropriate action to prevent the problems in the first place".

Inaccurate results

But Mr Galbraith has said he is staying put and would make every effort to ensure the problems were solved as "soon as possible".

There are still calls for the reissuing of all Higher and Standard grade exam certificates in Scotland after it was admitted by the Scottish Executive that some students received inaccurate results.

Pupil sitting exam
The exams tension continues for hundreds
The crisis has proved damaging for the Scottish Executive, the SQA and Ucas - the UK-wide university admissions service.

Concern and anxiety over the results, which should have been received on Thursday, was further compounded on Friday when Mr Galbraith admitted that some inaccurate results had been posted.

He said it was "totally irresponsible" to claim that these problems cast doubt on every certificate issued by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Ucas has announced that pupils will be able to call a helpline to find out if they have a university place.

The helpline, which will open on Monday at 0800 BST, can be contacted on 01242 227788. Queries can also be sent by email.

BBC Scotland's Aileen Clarke
"Ron Tuck's resignation has done little to ease the political pressure on the Scottish Executive over the fiasco"

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12 Aug 00 | Scotland
11 Aug 00 | Scotland
16 May 00 | Scotland
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