A report by the Institute for Government on the Department of Education’s handling of school assessment in England during the pandemic is highly critical and contrast that with a superior performance by the SNP leadership in the crisis.
First, in an echo of the disastrous contracted out contact tracing and testing system which failed so badly, compared to the Scottish system based in existing local authorities, the Conservative government repeated the mistake in schools:
In contrast to England, Scotland and Wales both funnelled money through local authorities. A report from Audit Wales makes clear that the local authority route worked far better there than the arrangements in England, and the impression is that the same was true for Scotland. A report from the Education Policy Institute similarly concludes that families outside England: “appear to have had better access to timely and appropriate support. In Wales and Scotland, governments allowed a greater amount of local discretion in the delivery of support, relying on existing infrastructure and allowing responses to be tailored to the needs of families.”
And after reporting how the English Education minister, Gavin Williamson had tried to place the blame on the exams authority, Ofqual, for a failure to deliver, the report suggests:
By contrast, when Scotland had reverted to teacher-assessed grades, Nicola Sturgeon absolved Ofqual’s equivalent body, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, of blame, saying “we did not get this right” and adding that “I don’t attach any blame to the SQA for this. This is ministers’ responsibility.” The contrast could not have been starker.
Have the Reporting or Good Mourning Scotland staff been reading this? Will they tell their audience? Kidding.