Closed petition PE1861: Use teacher assessed grades to award national qualifications in 2021

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to use teacher assessed grades rather than exam like assessments in awarding national qualifications in 2021.

Previous action taken

I have contacted several MSPs including the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills. To date, no response has been received from the Cabinet Secretary.

Background information

Many children are feeling overwhelmed due to the disruption of Covid-19 and the prospect of exam-like assessments. In England, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, the authorities have adopted "teacher assessed grades" in order to make it fair for all children. I believe that Scotland should too.

4,091 children and young people started treatment at Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Scotland between October and December 2020. This is an increase of 59 (1.5%) patients from the previous quarter, and an increase of 207 (5.3%) patients from the same quarter the previous year.

Nearly three quarters (73.1%) of children and young people were seen within 18 weeks, compared to 60.6% for the previous quarter and 66.4% for the quarter ending December 2019. The Scottish Government standard states that 90% of children and young people should start treatment within 18 weeks of referral to CAMHS.

The statistics are contained in Public Health Scotland's latest waiting times report, which shows that 1,560 youngsters had waited 52 weeks or more for a CAHMS appointment.

In total 11,166 children and young people were waiting to be seen by the service by the end of last year.

During a meeting of the Education and Skills Committee, Ross Greer MSP highlighted concerns of some teachers that both teachers and pupils will face an “intense” period of exam-like assessments on their return to school.

I believe that the prospect of exam-like assessments is increasing the levels of mental health issues in children which, if it continues, more children in Scotland will be affected. I believe that "teacher assessed grades" is the best alternative due to the fact that students cannot be de-graded due to various scenarios such as bereavement etc. Teachers can judge students based on classwork, homework and their performance which children won't be at an unfair advantage due to this not being their own fault.

This will also put a stop to full content papers, despite the fact children have had a lack of time to revise due to the disruption and on a whole it would be much beneficial towards them.

  • Created by Oliver Smith
  • Date closed 7 September 2021

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86 signatures