Friday, 2 June 2006
To celebrate the 80th anniversary of Higher National qualifications, we held a HN Heroes and Champions reception at Hampden Park, Glasgow on 31 May. It was a memorable evening, celebrating the success of HN qualifications. Mr Allan Wilson MSP, Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning was our special guest who presented the awards.
We are delighted to announce that the overall Scottish Champion of Higher National qualifications is Sam Bain, Training Manager at GE Caledonian Prestwick. Sam was nominated by Kilmarnock College. The picture shows Sam with his trophy together with John McCormick, SQA Chairman, Allan Wilson MSP, Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning and Anton Colella, SQA Chief Executive.
Mr Wilson also presented the HN Challenge trophy to Stow College, who earlier had beaten West Lothian College in the final of our HN Challenge quiz.
The evening also acknowledged all the HN Heroes that were nominated by colleges throughout Scotland. These Heroes represent lecturing staff past and present, support staff and local employers who champion HN developments and actively promote HN qualifications.
We would like to thank all the colleges who supported this event by nominating colleagues and who entered teams into the HN Challenge.
The final event in our year-long celebration of the 80th year of Higher National qualifications took place on 1 June at Hampden Park, Glasgow. The day allowed Scotland's colleges to showcase their HN qualifications and students to an audience including employers and schools. The exhibitions, performances and demonstrations included music, dance, science, fashion, sport, horticulture and hospitality.
The 2006 National Qualifications Examination Diet is now well underway in over 500 Scottish schools and exam centres.
Altogether, 575 different exams will be taken at Standard Grade, Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2, Higher and Advanced Higher levels, all the way through until Friday 9 June, when Higher and Advanced Higher in Civil Engineering will be the last subject.
But for one particular subject, it will be a mouse being used rather than a pen. 120 candidates in centres spread across the country have volunteered to take an exam online, for the first time.
On 16 May, candidates from the following centres successfully took the Biotechnology Intermediate 2 or Higher multiple choice examination using an on-screen format.
An online Operational Help Centre was made available from the end of May for users of SQA.net. This replaces the separate Operational Guides for Schools, Colleges and ETPs.
The information in the Operational Help Centre will be updated on an on-going basis, and is available from the ĎHelpí section of SQA.net. Users can access data on, for example, key dates and registration and entry guidelines, by using simple or more defined searches.
A support pack for the new Work Shadowing Intermediate 1 Unit (DR3V 10) is now available. The pack contains a candidate logbook as well as notes and checklists for centre staff and workplace mentors. It has been designed to help with centres' delivery and candidates' progress through the Unit, and to form an effective way of recording evidence.
As we have already verified the pack, any centre can make use of it as an officially endorsed way of gathering and recording candidate evidence. It is available to download from our website.
We have e-mailed a letter to all centres enclosing the full 2006 timetable for certification and awards reporting. The timetable is also available on our website.
We are currently completing the content of our new Professional Development Directory for August 2006 to January 2007.
The range of Professional Development Workshop topics has been extended and there is something for every professional working within our centres.
The new Directory also details the latest Understanding Standards for National Courses workshops. This programme will start in September, and includes new subjects and levels.
Copies will be sent to all SQA Co-ordinators in June. The Directory will also be available on our website. We look forward to working with you again.
June sees the publication of our ninth Annual Statistical Report and Annual Statistical Digest. The report contains detailed statistics (including information on uptake and attainment trends, and analysis by age and gender), with commentary on all the qualifications offered or accredited by us in 2005.
The Digest gives the key information from the main Annual Statistical Report and highlights some of the emerging trends and changing patterns observed in 2005, as well as disussing some of the new developments in Scottish education.
Both publications are free and can be obtained through our Customer Contact Centre on 0845 279 1000, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also access the reports via our website.
We supported the recent UCAS Conference held at Nottingham University on 10-13 April. This conference was an ideal forum for providing admissions officers from all around the UK with information on the Scottish qualifications they may come across on application forms.
The most popular publications we gave out there were:
The last publication listed above is a very useful guide to comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland.
We have been supporting the creation of a new online resource offering information about artists who are Scottish or have a strong Scottish connection.
'Images from the Royal Scottish Academy: Scottish Art 1780 to present' features images accompanied by brief information about the work, a critical commentary, and a biography of the artist.
The selection of works of art from the Royal Scottish Academy covers 140 artists, and supports the teaching and learning of Art and Design throughout Scotland, particularly for students of National Qualifications.
Learning and Teaching Scotland developed the resource in close collaboration with the Royal Scottish Academy and the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy.
Funded by a Scottish Funding Council award and a European Social Fund grant, the Modernising Scottish Higher National Provision (MSHNP) project has, over the past two years, revised nearly one hundred HN qualifications and created around 1,000 Assessment Exemplars.
The MSHNP project is presently developing a new online assessment system and high quality learning and teaching materials that will be provided without charge to centres in Scotland.
We manage MSHNP, and the work is undertaken by a partnership comprising specialists in colleges and other learning centres, the Scottish Further Education Unit, Colleges Open Learning Exchange Group (COLEG) and ourselves.
You can learn more by attending one of our four MSHNP Roadshows:
To book a place, complete the form on the webpage.
This new Professional Development Award (PDA) will be launched in June. It has been designed in consultation with practitioners and colleges, and is aimed at those already employed within the administrative sector of NHS Scotland who do not possess a relevant vocational qualification or who wish to update their existing qualifications as part of their continuing professional development activity.
The PDA can be delivered in tandem with the HNC/D Administration and Information Technology if candidates have elected the Medical Units as options.
The award is made up of mandatory and optional Units at SCQF level 7. To achieve the award candidates must achieve a total of eight credits. Each credit is equivalent to 40 hours' notional study.
Launch events will take place in Stirling on 14 June and in Inverness on 15 June.
We would like to congratulate all the finalists and winners of The Herald's Scottish Student Press Awards 2006, now in its tenth year, which recently took place at Oran Mor in Glasgow's west end. The evening was a great success and after the awards ceremony featured a performance by Mellow Sub Machine, a band who started life when the two core members were students at Stow College.
The picture shows Charles McGhee, Editor of The Herald with the winner of Student Journalist of the Year, Jenny Munro, and representatives from the two sponsors, Elaine Collins, Head of Communications and Marketing Services at Lloyds TSB Scotland and John McCormick, Chairman of the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
Our Care Scotland team recently attended the annual Learning Disability Today Scotland exhibition hosted by Pavilion Publishing which attracts delegates from across the health, social care and housing sectors operating within the field of learning disability. It provided excellent networking opportunities and our stand received over 200 visitors, including approved and potential centres, candidates and service users.
Together with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland, we recently announced their approval to deliver PC Passport. This agreement is the culmination of eighteen months of development work and formalises the close support and collaboration that we and RCN Scotland has formed. RCN Scotland will promote and support the delivery of this qualification to all its members.
PC Passport will initially be available to the RCN's 38,000 members in Scotland. In the future it is likely to grow as the RCN considers plans to offer it to health care assistants and, perhaps, in the long term, online via its website to almost 400,000 members across the UK.
Pictured are Anton Colella, SQA Chief Executive presenting the approval certificate to Katie Rae and Stuart Cable of the Royal College of Nursing Scotland.
We are pleased to report that we will be hosting a three-day International Conference in Edinburgh from 4-6 October, entitled 'New Directions in Curriculum and Qualifications for 14-19 year olds'. The Conference is being planned in association with the Victorian Qualifications Authority and Queensland Studies Authority, Australia. The Conference is being supported by the Scottish Executive.
We are sponsoring the final year exhibition of HN students in Photography at Stevenson College Edinburgh. The exhibition is being held on Level 5 of The Tun, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh and will run from 3 - 16 June. It will be open to the public Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.
The Vocational Qualifications Reform Programme (VQRP) is a cross-UK Programme that is taking forward vocational qualifications reform and the re-design of the current National Qualifications Framework for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The main forum of the VQRP is the 'UK Programme Board for Vocational Qualifications Reform', established in early 2006. Scotland is represented on the Board by Stephen Kerr, the Head of the Skills for Life and Work Division, Scottish Executive and John Young, Director of Qualifications at SQA.
The work of the VQRP is being taken forward through five strands,
Each of the Strands has been allocated a Senior Responsible Owner (SRO), drawn from what is deemed to be the appropriate 'lead' agency or agencies for that Strand. Each of the SROs will attend, or be represented on, the main Programme Board.
The Adult Learners' Week Awards Ceremony, recently took place in Edinburgh. These awards are given to those individuals and groups who have overcome personal difficulties to achieve recognition through learning. There were over 340 nominations this year, with three selection panels meeting to select the winners.
The SQA Award Winner is Peter Hogg. Through his programme of learning, Peter has achieved all of his personal goals to date, becoming more confident, improving his communication skills, being able to interact with others, and gaining qualifications and valuable work experience in the process. Peter is now helping many others seek help and fulfil their true potential.
If any of these workshops would help with your Continuing Professional Development (CPD), please click on the link below for information and our registration form. Alternatively, call our Customer Contact Centre on 0845 279 1000, where someone will be happy to process your booking.
» Register your place. Remember places are limited.