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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-02629

  • Asked by: Kaukab Stewart, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 30 August 2021
  • Current status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 31 August 2021


To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the OECD’s comparative paper on assessment and qualifications published today, and whether it will provide an update on the work regarding the OECD’s recommendations on the Curriculum for Excellence as outlined on 22 June.


I welcome Professor Stobart’s paper on the future of qualifications and assessment.

It is important to note that this paper has not produced recommendations but looks at approaches taken around the world, outlining a number of possible options for Scotland to consider as part of a wider conversations on any future changes to its qualifications and assessment system.

These options include:

  • the development of a Senior Phase qualification system based on a combination of teacher assessment and exams
  • the simplification of S4-5 assessment by “de-cluttering” the historical diet of exams
  • the increased use of online exam resources and oral presentations as an assessment format
  • the inclusion of pupils views in decisions around assessment
  • enhancing the role of vocational qualifications

Working with stakeholders across the education sector, including learners, we will give full consideration to the options that Professor Stobart has outlined.

I will update Parliament on how this work will be taken forward and on the on-going implementation of OECD recommendations on Curriculum for Excellence in due course.