Friday, 5 May 2006
We are making changes to the arrangements for candidate registration which will affect colleges, employers and training providers. These changes are designed to simplify procedures and at the same time reduce the potential number of re-registrations (duplicates). We will put in place a Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) allocation service.
The new procedure will allow centres to submit the standard registration details to us but not including an SCN. We will match the details against our candidate database. If we find a match we will let you know the SCN that already exists for the candidate. If there is no record of the candidate, we will provide you with a new SCN.
We'll send more detailed information about this to all our centres at the end of May.
With the new financial year beginning on 1 April, we have begun to implement our new Corporate and Business Plan for 2006/09. The plan sets out our main areas of focus for the next three years, and includes our Mission, Vision and Values Statements. It forms the basis of our budget, and is approved by ministers at the Scottish Executive.
Our vision is 'to be recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in qualifications and assessment'.
Our mission is to 'work in partnership to provide high quality, recognised and relevant qualifications and assessment'.
Our values are:
We have produced a new information leaflet in association with the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) and the Headteachers' Association of Scotland (HAS) to promote our Advanced Higher National Qualifications.The leaflet Introducing Advanced Higher is free and can be obtained by quoting publication code BD2803 to our Customer Contact Centre on 0845 279 1000 or e-mail email@example.com Alternatively, you can access it via our website.
We are also developing information sheets for the individual subjects at Advanced Higher, and you can also find these on our website.
In our November issue we reported on the cash grants for schools, available through a partnership between Microsoft and SQA, as part of Microsoft's Partners in Learning initiative. We are now pleased to report that Partners in Learning has announced the opening of this year's application period for teachers who wish to apply for small grants for projects that involve ICT in its widest sense. Teachers are advised to read the Request for Proposals (RFP) and Guidance before submitting applications which need to be received by 2 June.
If your certificate to run SQA.net has expired, you will need to re-register your PC for a new certificate.
You can do this by visiting the SQA.net website.
You will then be asked to enter your user name and password and complete the two-stage registration process.
After you have completed step 1, use your backspace button to complete step 2. As part of step 2, you will be asked to submit your e-mail address and telephone number and to complete a 'comments' box. It is important that you insert the following comment 'Re-registration certificate expiry'.
You will then receive an e-mail with a link containing your new digital certificate. Click on this link and the new digital certificate will be issued for your PC.
You can check the current status of your certificate by following the procedure below:
The move to our new office has begun. Over the next few weeks we will be continuing to relocate to The Optima Building.
Full details of our new address have been issued to all our customers. Details are:
Scottish Qualifications Authority
The Optima Building
58 Robertson Street
Tel: 0845 279 1000
We look forward to welcoming you to our new office soon.
The 'Show Racism the Red Card' campaign, part of the Scottish Executive's 'One Scotland, Many Cultures' campaign held its annual Schools’ Arts Competition Winners event at Hampden recently.
The competition helps schools promote racial equality by providing teachers and pupils with the opportunity to examine racism and anti-racist strategies.
The overall national prize-winners, who received a cheque for £1,000 for their school and a host of football prizes for themselves, are Nina Haveron and Emily Pollock from Greenock Academy. Many congratulations to Nina and Emily for producing such a fantastic piece of work.
Nina and Emily are seen in the photograph with Neil MacGowan, Business Manager - Customer Relations and Marketing at SQA.
A Curriculum for Excellence was published in November 2004 following the National Debate on Education in Scotland. It set out, for the first time, values, purposes and principles for the Curriculum 3 to 18 for all children and young people.
The ministerial response to A Curriculum for Excellence initiated a programme of work to put these values, purposes and principles into practice. The Programme Board, which includes SQA's Chief Executive, Anton Colella, was established to advise ministers and to steer the programme.
The Programme Board have recently published this paper, a curriculum for excellence - progress and proposals, which marks the next milestone in putting A Curriculum for Excellence into practice and is relevant to teachers and educators of children and young people aged 3 to 18.
The document includes an outline timetable and more details of the results of the review process so far, including a rationale for Science. The emerging results of work on specific curriculum areas and cross-curriculum aspects will be made available on the Curriculum for Excellence Scotland website: www.acurriculumforexcellencescotland.gov.uk.
In recognition of the importance of their role, in November 2005 SQA asked Co-ordinators to share their views with us about the following:
The volume of responses was somewhat disappointing (less than a 10% response rate), but from those we did receive, we were able to identify two key issues:
We have fed this information into our wider Customer Satisfaction Survey and they will be addressed via this route. In addition, a number of issues specific to individual centres were identified and we have been able to address these directly. If you have any queries about the Co-ordinator Exchange, please contact Carole Forrest (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We are committed to delivering a high quality customer service. To help us achieve this, we have been commissioning The Leadership Factor, an independent research company, to conduct annual customer satisfaction surveys on our behalf over the last three years.
In the recent survey a structured sample of 500 customers (220 schools, 60 colleges and 220 employers and training providers) were contacted by telephone.
The overall satisfaction rating achieved was 80%, an increase on the previous years'.
We are currently assessing your scores and comments and will agree action plans to make improvements.
We will keep you updated on progress throughout the year.
The National Qualifications Review in Personal and Social Education (PSE) is proceeding and we would like to give you an update on developments.
Revised Units and Courses at Access 3 and Intermediate 1 will be available from August 2007, for certification in 2008. Revised Units and Courses at Intermediate 2 and Higher will be available from August 2008 for Course certification in 2009.
We will keep you updated with all the news and developments regarding the revised Units and Courses via update letters and future issues of the e-zine.
Six revised Higher National frameworks have been validated recently, to be delivered from August 2006:
We are currently working on assessment exemplars for all frameworks, which will be available along with the revised frameworks.
We are working towards the development of the world's first National Qualification on internet safety. Various media stories have highlighted the importance of using the internet safely and this new qualification aims to explain how to protect yourself when you're online. It's designed for school pupils, parents, adults working with children and 'silver surfers' - in fact anyone who regularly uses the internet.
The qualification will consist of a National Unit at SCQF level 5 (Intermediate 2) -appropriately titled Internet Safety. The contents include: identity theft, intellectual property rights, online security (such as virus protection and firewalls), data protection, and anti-spam strategies.
Internet Safety will be our first e-only qualification - that is, the first qualification that is only available online. Both learning and assessment will be delivered over the internet. This project involves a number of partners including Learning and Teaching Scotland, Microsoft, British Telecom, BBC, Strathclyde Police and child protection agencies.
The project aims to make the qualification available to centres later this year. Contact Bobby Elliott (email@example.com) for more information. Or you can follow the development of the award via the blog.
We are delighted to announce that we have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding with OPITO (a not-for-profit industry-owned organisation delivering innovative skills solutions) at the recent Scottish Offshore Achievement Awards.
Chief Executive of OPITO, David Doig said, 'The signing of the MOU further strengthens the long-term relationship between OPITO and SQA. We believe our partnership with SQA will build on our success and increase the delivery of high quality training and Scottish standards and qualification frameworks.'
SQA Chief Executive, Anton Colella, responded, 'Clearly we at SQA welcome this development too. This is a further indicator that we work closely with our industry partners to ensure candidates have the opportunity to work towards a clear training path in their chosen career.'
A small team representing various areas of our business attended this year's Getenergy annual event in Dubai recently.
Getenergy's events focus exclusively on tackling the challenges surrounding education and training in the upstream oil and gas industry. The events bring together oil companies, service providers, universities, colleges and private training providers from across the world to exchange information and develop valuable networks.
We were the only national awarding body in attendance, and were among over 50 exhibitors. There was a significant amount of international interest in our qualifications and certification.
James Watt and Forth Valley colleges also accompanied us on the exhibition stand, which displayed cohesive teamwork - colleges delivering courses together with recognised certification from a national awarding body.
As well as the exhibition, sessions were held on education and training topics, and our representatives were able to interact in the debates.
The event was a huge success, and we are becoming a known player in the oil and gas training and education market both at home and internationally.
Are you already delivering or interested in delivering SQA Units and Courses in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)? If you are, then please don't miss the forthcoming launch events for new ESOL National Courses.
During May we will be hosting two launch events for new National Courses at Higher and Intermediate 2 levels in ESOL. These events aim to update key teaching staff on aspects of these new Courses due to be introduced from August 2006. The events will focus specifically on course arrangements and assessment.
The events are free and will be held on the following dates between 10am and 3.15pm:
As demand is expected to be high, bookings are limited to one person per centre, processed on a first-come first-served basis. Additional spaces may, however, be available after the closing date for bookings, depending on how many bookings are received at that point.
» Book a place.
Professional Development Directory August 2006 to January 2007
We are currently completing the content of our new Professional Development Directory for August 2006 to January 2007. Copies will be sent to all SQA Co-ordinators of our approved centres during May – look out for your copy coming soon.
The new Professional Development Directory will also be on our website from end of May. We look forward to working with you again.
Advisory Council new members appointed Education Minister Peter Peacock has reappointed the Convenor and nine members to our Advisory Council for a second term. In addition, one new member has been appointed.
The Advisory Council provides advice to our Board and Scottish ministers in relation to qualifications devised or awarded by us, and our functions and procedures affecting stakeholders. The Council can also provide advice on other matters as it thinks appropriate.
Linda McKay MBE has been re-appointed as Convener of the Advisory Council.
The nine members who have been re-appointed are: Ann Auchterlonie, Bill Gold, Anne Mulgrew, Hugh McCafferty, Steve McColl, Eddie Phillips, Judith Sischy, Paul Thomson and Gary Waddell. The new member appointed is Professor Alex MacLennan.
Full details of the Advisory Council are on our website.
» Details of Advisory Council members.
SQA publications - have your say We’re very keen to find out what you think about our publications - particularly about the way they’re written. All our support and procedural publications now carry a statement saying that we’re committed to using plain English. If you come across some text you find less than entirely comprehensible, or if there’s something you think can be improved, (or even if you think we’re getting things just about right), please let us know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday Herald Exam Guide
The Sunday Herald has once again produced a guide to help exam candidates with revision. It contains very useful information on exam structures and techniques with practice questions and worked examples.
» Access the guide.
HN Challenge Semi-Final Results
The HN Challenge Semi-Finals took place in the Auditorium at Hampden Park earlier this week. West Lothian College defeated Banff & Buchan College and, after a 'sudden death' tie-break, Stow College overcame Ayr College.
West Lothian and Stow will contest the Final, also at Hampden, on 31 May, prior to the 'Heroes & Champions' evening reception. We will let you know what happens.
History of Scotland's Higher National qualifications: the 1970s
To mark the 80th anniversary of Higher National Qualifications, we continue a series of historical snippets through the decades.
The North Sea oil era was under way and Home Rule returned to the forefront of Scottish politics, a referendum bid failed, the UCS work-in and the three-day week of the miners’ strike dominated the news. At the end of the decade, Margaret Thatcher entered 10 Downing Street.
Hudson’s Report on Technician Courses and Examinations in Scotland recommended that the existing courses be replaced with new advanced-level courses (to be called ‘Higher Technician Certificate/Diploma’) and that a single policy-making body, the Scottish Technical Education Council (SCOTEC), should take responsibility for them.
It also recommended that the Scottish Council for Commercial, Administrative and Professional Education (SCCAPE) change its name to the Scottish Business Education Council (SCOTBEC) for consistency.
PC Passport – Scotland’s fastest growing ICT qualification
Over 2,700 copies of the Leckie & Leckie PC Passport Course Notes publications with CD-ROM have now been sold.
» Find out more.