Learned Societies’ Group comments on Priestley review

The Learned Societies’ Group on STEM Education (LSG), of which the RSE is a member, recently submitted a letter to Professor Mark Priestley at the University of Stirling, who has been commissioned by Scottish Government to conduct a rapid review of the National Qualifications experience for 2020. In response to the cancellation of the 2020 exam diet due to COVID-19, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) developed an alternative assessment model which led to considerable national debate regarding the validity of final moderated grades before Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills John Swinney announced the reinstatement of initial teacher estimates and an independent review into the process.

In its letter to Professor Priestley, the LSG highlights the importance of understanding the statistical methodologies that underlay SQA’s approach, the role of objective evidence in the alternative assessment model, and the implications of the 2020 National Qualifications experience on student progression.

The LSG brings together the learned societies and professional associations to identify and promote priorities for STEM education in Scotland. The LSG comprises the: Association for Science Education; British Computer Society, The Chartered Institute for IT; Edinburgh Mathematical Society; The Institution of Engineering and Technology; Institute of Physics; Royal Society of Biology; Royal Society of Chemistry; Royal Society of Edinburgh; and the Scottish Mathematical Council. While all of these organisations are individually active in their own right, the LSG provides a forum for them to come together to discuss and take action on shared interests and concerns.

The letter can be found here.