Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment Group minutes: May 2022
- Education Reform Directorate
- Part of
Minutes of the meeting held on the 17 May 2022
Attendees and apologies
- Louise Hayward (Convenor), Emerita Professor, University of Glasgow
- Peter Bain, Headteacher, Oban High School
- Tracy Black, Scotland Director, CBI
- Andrea Bradley, General Secretary, EIS Union
- Cheryl Burnett, Chair, National Parent Forum of Scotland
- Chris Chapman, Professor, University of Glasgow
- Chelsey Clay, University of Glasgow
- Graham Donaldson, Professor, University of Glasgow
- Douglas Hutchison, President, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland
- Ken Muir, Professor, University of the West of Scotland
- Aileen Ponton, Chief Executive, Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework
- Jonathan Powles, Professor, University of the West of Scotland
- Eileen Prior, Executive Director, Connect
- Barrie Shepperd, National Parent Forum of Scotland
- Dr Joe Smith, Lecturer, University of Stirling
- Dr Edward Sosu, University of Strathclyde
- Dr Gill Stewart, Director of Qualifications Development, SQA
- Gordon Stobart, Honorary Research Fellow, Oxford and Emeritus Professor of Education, University College London
Ken Thomson, Professor, Forth Valley College
Mo Whelton, Scottish Youth Parliament
- Jo-Anne Baird, Professor, University of Oxford
- Mark Priestley, Professor, University of Stirling
Items and actions
Welcome and discussion about the Review
The Convenor welcomed members to the first meeting of the Independent Review Group (IRG) and invited attendees to introduce themselves.
The Convenor outlined the context for the Review. Members were asked to provide statements on what they hoped the Review would achieve. Statements included the following:
- improve educational equity
- achieve parity of esteem
- provide equity and fair access to all young people
- engage and implement change
- for qualifications to reflect a range of achievements, not just academic
- to move away from a system which uses results to ‘sift and sort’
- offer longevity in whatever change is recommended
- utilise the creativity of young people
- inform the National Conversation to suit future needs
- look at assessment design and outcomes
- consider lifelong pathways for outcomes
- use the current experience to inform the future education system
The IRG Terms of Reference were tabled for discussion. It was noted that membership will be published on the Scottish Government website in due course.
Action 1 – Share updated membership of the IRG with the group.
Our shared ways of working
The Convenor outlined her Vision for an inclusive and participatory programme of stakeholder engagement with the aim of providing an opportunity for everyone with a stake in the future of Qualifications and Assessments to feed into the review.
The Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) introduced the draft Charter paper, explained how it had been developed and outlined its purpose. There was a group discussion around the content of the Charter and an opportunity to ask questions. There was broad agreement to the Charter.
Action 2 – Share the Charter paper with Collaborative Community Group (CCG) members.
Vision and principles
There was a discussion on the draft Vision and Principles paper. Additional comments from IRG members were invited by correspondence.
Action 3 – Comments on the draft Vision and Principles to be returned to the Secretariat.
There was a group discussion exploring what ‘cultural and mindset change’ as per the Muir report (2021), might look like in practice.
Tasks and timeline
The Convener explained that the work would comprise of three tasks:
- task one - Vision and Principles: Invite comments on a draft version of the Vision and Principles document to inform the design and development of future assessment and qualifications in Scotland. This would take place between June and September
- task two - Options: Invite comments on Options - for the future of assessment and qualifications. The options would be intended to be consistent with the developed Vision and Principles. This would take place between September and October
- task three - Draft Report: Invite comments on the direction of travel set out in a draft final report. This report will include the Vision and Principles and indicative preferred options for the future of assessment and qualifications in Scotland. This would take place between October and December
The Convener noted that a final report will be delivered to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills before 31 March 2023.
Members were in broad agreement with the proposed model.
There was a discussion on what issues and topics future IRG meeting should cover. The following actions arose from this discussion:
- action 4 – Prepare a ‘case for change’ discussion paper – setting out the evidence and rationale for why change is needed
- action 5 - Identify key issues to address and allocate time at future meetings to discuss these issues
- action 6 - Look at international models of assessment. What can be learnt from elsewhere
- action 7 - Seek views from employers on what is relevant for them
- action 8 - Consider themes or speakers for future IRG meetings
The Convenor thanked members for their time. Dates for future IRG meetings would be scheduled and calendar invitations issued for the duration of this work.
action 1 – Share updated membership of the IRG with the group
action 2 – Share the Charter paper with Collaborative Community Group (CCG) members
action 3 – Comments on the draft Vision and Principles to be returned to the Secretariat
action 4 – Prepare a ‘case for change’ discussion paper – setting out the evidence and rationale for why change is needed
action 5 - Identify key issues to address and allocate time at future meetings to discuss these issues
action 6 - Look at international models of assessment. What can be learnt from elsewhere
action 7 - Seek views from employers on what is relevant for them
action 8 - Consider themes or speakers for future IRG meetings
Secretariat, Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment, 17 May 2022
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