SQA welcomes 'new era' of learner engagement on road to Qualifications Scotland

Friday 28 June 2024

SQA today announced plans to transform the way it engages with learners, to ensure their voices are heard and help shape decisions and services.

Over the coming weeks and months, SQA will be working with the Scottish Government and a wide range of stakeholders to develop plans for future learner engagement to support the transition to Qualifications Scotland.

This will include activity that will play a key role in enabling Qualifications Scotland to create a ‘learner charter’, that will set out what learners can expect from the new organisation, and a new learner committee to advise the organisation’s Board.

SQA recently won a prestigious Marketing Society Scotland Star Award for its campaign in support of Scotland’s learners, with the judges recognising the campaign’s success in engaging a hard-to-reach audience.

SQA Chief Executive Fiona Robertson said:

“We have come a long way on our journey to give learners a stronger voice. SQA colleagues have collaborated with the Scottish Youth Parliament and the Learner Panel to strengthen our understanding of what meaningful engagement looks like and to build that into each stage of our work.”

John Booth, SQA Director of Communications, said:

"Over recent years, we have engaged directly with hundreds of learners and I am extremely grateful for the support and guidance the Scottish Youth Parliament has given us.

“We want to build on these solid foundations and enter a new era of learner engagement as we prepare for the arrival of Qualifications Scotland. The new body should offer every learner the opportunity to have their voice heard.”

The Scottish Government published the Education (Scotland) Bill on 5 June, which will provide the framework for setting up Qualifications Scotland. The Bill places significant emphasis on making sure learners are central to decisions made on qualifications and assessment.

Later this year SQA will publish details of the changes it will make to support a successful transition to Qualifications Scotland. This will include steps that will be taken to transform engagement with learners and teachers.

Ellie Craig MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said:

"As the SQA move into their new phase of learner engagement I hope they take many of the lessons from the Learner Panel about the meaningful participation of young people in decision-making. For reform to provide the transformational change to Scottish education that young people have been clear they want to see, learner voice at the heart of qualifications is essential.

"The Education (Scotland) Bill promises young people a meaningful voice in the governance of the proposed new body. Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament will play a leading role in holding Qualifications Scotland to account to make sure young people’s views are not ignored."