Representatives from all 32 Local Associations met at HQ last week to discuss the SQA workload action.

As a result we are in the process of adding to the FAQ section of the website and will be issuing some more detailed advice around specific points.

At the meeting the General Secretary was able to feedback on the first session of the re-convened Working Group on Assessment and Qualifications, which is now being chaired by John Swinney.

He reported that there had been a very focused approach at the meeting, with all parties around the table being well aware of the action the EIS has commenced. With our action acting as a catalyst towards a speedy resolution, it is important that we continue to act together in saying no to excessive SQA workload.

There was confirmation of the gains which have been secured already and which apply this year:

  • Suspension of random unit verification
  • Threshold scores to apply around unit passes: 60% in Maths and STEM subjects; broadly 3 out 4 PC met in other subjects

Whilst these changes are welcome, they do not go far enough in terms of reducing both teacher workload and the assessment burden for students.

The EIS is demanding early decisions about the more significant changes that need to be made to achieve a satisfactory outcome, in particular the place of mandatory unit assessments at Nat 5 and 6; the issue of an external exam at Nat 4; and the interface between BGE and the Senior Phase.

In this regard it is essential that members exert and maintain pressure on both the SQA and Scottish Government through support for the action short of strike. Your School Rep will receive updates and support from both HQ and your Local Association. 

An updated version of the EIS workload calculator has been added to the website which will allow members to keep track of how much time is being spent on various activities and will assist them with sticking to WTAs.

Please support this action and act together within your school to help achieve the changes needed to reduce excessive SQA generated workload.