National review of local authority approaches to quality assurance as part of the alternative certification model published

Scotland's HM Inspectors of Education publish a new report highlighting the arrangements for quality assurance put in place by local authorities as part of the alternative certification model.

Following the cancellation of the 2021 National Qualifications examination diet, the Depute First Minister requested that HM Inspectors of Education (HMIE) undertake a review of local authority approaches to quality assurance as part of the alternative certification model.

The national review provides the independent view of HM Inspectors of Education about what is working well and areas for improvement so that these can be addressed before provisional grades are submitted.

Findings include:

  • guidance on how local authorities have supported teachers access subject specific guidance, assessment resources and Understanding Standards materials and webinars
  • details of how local authorities are continuing to review arrangements that ensure learning, teaching and assessment continues together with consolidation of learning
  • illustrations of how local authorities have quality assured centre level quality
  • information on how local authorities are using subject networks to support areas based subject quality assurance
  • examples of how local authorities are working together with other local authorities within the Regional Improvement Collaborative (RIC), where a need is identified
  • details of how local authorities are considering capacity to support the national quality assurance exercise by releasing a limited number of appointees to undertake this work if required
  • information on how local authorities are considering arrangements for aspects of the ACM that were underway at the time of the review including exploration of rationales for variances and dialogue with SQA.

Local authorities are continuing to review and refine their arrangements to ensure that young people achieve evidence based, robust provisional results. Staff at all levels are reflecting on what is working well and what needs to improve as part of developing approaches to quality assurance.

The report also sets out a number of recommendations.