The Learned Societies’ Group on STEM Education (LSG) and the Education Committee of the Royal Society of Edinburgh welcome, in principle, the decision by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) to re-introduce coursework and examinations for practical subjects that were removed from the assessment of National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher subjects during the Covid-19 pandemic

Professor Martin Hendry FRSE, chair of the LSG, commented on the decision:

Professor Martin Hendry FRSE

The Learned Societies’ Group is pleased that the SQA intends to restore elements of assessment for practical subjects. We understand the reasons for their removal during the pandemic, but the development and assessment of practical skills is critical for STEM subjects so any steps towards their restoration are welcome. We look to the SQA to ensure that the re-introduction of practical skills assessment is implemented with minimal disruption for students and teachers, and takes due account of the recommendations that will be made by the Hayward Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment.”

Professor Martin Hendry FRSE, chair of the LSG

This statement was signed off by the following contributing societies of the LSG: Association for Science Education (ASE); British Computer Society, The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS); Edinburgh Mathematical Society (EMS); Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET); Royal Society of Biology (RSB); Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC); Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE); and Scottish Mathematical Council (SMC).