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Lesson in Scottish Guinea Pigs Fiasco

Media Statement

Sunday 17 December 2000

Lesson in Scottish Guinea Pigs Fiasco

"A Scottish Parliament report into this year’s Scottish examinations debacle found ‘key figures in the [Scottish Qualifications Authority] in fact took an enormous and unjustifiable gamble … to the detriment of parents, pupils and teachers,’ said Concerned Teachers spokesperson Peter Calvert.

"The new Scottish qualification system (Higher Stills) is the model quoted for Education Minister Trevor Mallard’s NCEA, which is to replace School Certificate and Bursary from 2002. The 1997 PPTA report used as the basis for the NCEA (Te Tiro Hou) quotes the design of the NZ Qualification Framework as being ‘significantly influenced by developments in the vocational strand of Scottish education’," said Mr Calvert.

"In a report published last week, the Scottish Parliament's Education Committee found there were serious failures at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (their equivalent of NZQA). The fiasco saw thousands of pupils receive wrong or missing exam results for the year 2000," said Mr Calvert.

Mr Calvert stated that "Scottish students in 2000 have had great problems getting into Universities of their choice, while employers now have no faith in the pieces of paper this years’ students are bringing with them to get a job."

"Students should neither be gambled with nor used as ‘guinea pigs’ for the Minister’s educational experiments. Our young people also deserve a full public inquiry into whether the new NCEA system will actually work or whether it will follow the path of the failures in Scotland and Victoria. Our young people do not need worthless pieces of paper," said Mr Calvert.

For More information contact:

Peter Calvert 021 2111 825

E-mail ConcernedTeachers@xtra.co.nz

Website www.concernedteachers.com

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