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Working Group on Assessment and National Qualifications

Working Group on Assessment and National Qualifications

The Terms of Reference and the Remit of the Working Group on Assessment and National Qualifications may be found here.

Advice to Schools

The ANQ has published advice to local authorities, schools and teachers on recent changes to the National Qualifications.  This guidance can be found here:


The Group has met on ten occasions since February 2016.  The Group’s programme of work has been as follows:

  • Development of actions to reduce assessment-related workload for teachers and learners in advance of session 2016-17.  These are summarised in the Group’s first report, with some specific amendments to the qualifications, but also actions to address the broader issues that have impacted on assessment-related workload.

  • Further action to reduce workload for teachers and learners from session 2017/18 onwards.  These were announced in a Scottish Government News Release on 21 September 2016 which can be viewed here and consist of the removal of mandatory unit assessments from National 5 qualifications in 2017/18 and Higher qualifications in 2018/19.  Following subsequent discussions with the CfE Management Board, mandatory unit assessment will be removed from Advanced Higher qualifications in 2019/20.

  • The development of guidance on the removal of mandatory unit assessments.

  • The Group is discussing a range of further topics including National 4, the Broad General Education and the Senior Phase.


Since May 2016,  the Group has been chaired by John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.

The Group’s membership comprises:

  • Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)
  • Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland

  • Colleges Scotland

  • Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)

  • Education Scotland

  • Further and Higher Education representatives


  • National Parent Forum of Scotland

  • School Leaders Scotland

  • Scottish Government
  • Scottish Qualifications Authority

  • Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association