The exams body, the SQA is to be scrapped in a shake-up, following a report into Scotland’s schools.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority has been under fire after last year’s exams downgrading fiasco and this year pupils and teachers have been critical of the replacement assessment system.

The Scottish Government said it has accepted all 12 of the recommendations of the OECD report into the education system and Curriculum for Excellence.

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The report found CfE was a “widely supported initiative”. But it also said “The approach to the ongoing implementation of Curriculum for Excellence has lacked structure and long-term perspective.”

The OECD recommended changes in the assessment and review system.

It stated: “Scotland could first identify modes of student assessment that could be used in school and external settings at Senior Phase levels, in alignment with the four capacities and CfE philosophy; and second, re-develop a sample-based evaluation system to collect robust and reliable data necessary to support curriculum reviews and decision making.”

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Education secretary said: “We will replace the SQA. We will talk to young people, parents and teachers to build a system that works in line with CfE – exactly as the OECD recommends.

Glasgow Times: Shirley-Anne Somerville. Minister for Higher Education

“Responsibility for inspection will no longer sit with Education Scotland and we will look at what further reform of the agency’s functions is required.

“Everyone across the education system, including at the SQA and Education Scotland, has worked tirelessly this year under very challenging circumstances. They are owed a debt of gratitude.

“What comes next is a period of change. But it is change in order to improve, to achieve more and to deliver for Scotland’s pupils. Our commitment is to do exactly that and we will work with everyone and anyone willing to help to make that a reality.”

Michael Marra, Scottish Labour education spokesman, said: “It is welcome that the SQA is to be scrapped and replaced by a new body. It has become increasingly clear that the organisation stood as a barrier to realising the full potential of Curriculum for Excellence. 

  “Parents, pupils and the many critics of the government’s performance on education policy over many years now see their own words and concerns validated by much of this report."