BBC News: Higher exams to be cancelled for Scottish pupils

BBC News – Higher exams to be cancelled for Scottish pupils

At last, the decision we were expecting. In my case, my students would have been ready for the exams in summer but another covid case causing students to lose 2 more weeks would change that in an instant.

I think this is a good decision and is better to have been made now rather than in February but would have allowed us to better organise arrangements if it had been made in October.

I’d really like this to signal the start of the end of formal exams as the main method of qualification and allow us to move down a more balanced mix of coursework, extended supervised assignments, on-line tests and traditional exams. A hybrid that allows students to demonstrate their skills across a range of assessments and doesn’t disadvantage those who really struggle with exams despite having solid knowledge, understanding and skills. There’s a whole lot of people out there who have been labelled failures simply because their style of learning doesn’t allow them to pass exams.


Tory misgovernment

When he was elected with an “oven ready” deal why has it come down to the wire to agree our future trading relationships with the EU. I remain absolutely appalled by the ideological cavalierism of the current Tory government. For the sake of fishing, an industry which brings a few hundred million into the economy at best producing a product which few Britons consume, they’ve abandoned the automotive industry, the commercial aerospace industry, the banking, insurance and business services industry, the performing arts industry and the tertiary education industry.

They are charlatans of the greatest magnitude and I am tired of hearing the blame for the disaster to come placed at the feet of the EU, Remainers or the Opposition.

There’s a meme going round at the moment showing the political aims of the National Front in the 1970s and it is a frightening sign of how far to the right our country has drifted that they are unseperable from the current Tory aims.


The Great British illusion

So, this week I have hit rock bottom in my despair over this nations fixation with our exceptionalism.

It started with Matt Hancock trumpeting the vaccine approval as a triumph of Brexit and statements about Britain leading the world. The vaccine is a result of international collaboration and we have used existing EU regulations around emergency procedures to fast track the approval.

The vaccine is something to celebrate. In the words of WLSC “it is not the end of the virus, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it might be the end of the beginning”. But, it should not be a reason to parrot nationalistic “we’re better than you” playground taunts.

Following this I have just noticed the number of programmes on TV which are titled “The Great British . . . ” we’ve got Bake Off, of course. But there’s a whole raft of other Great British programmes which may once have been a fun play of the geographical name of these islands but now, to me, seem to be aimed at giving permission to narrow minded people to continue to think they’re somehow better than others. The problems facing the world will not be solved by countries trumpeting their own greatness and living on their fading pasts but of nations putting difference aside, celebrating our shared values and working together for the betterment of everyone.