SQA and the FE sector – working together for Scotland’s college learners

Thanks to SQA for being a Gold sponsor at the CDN Virtual College Awards 2020. In this blog, the team highlight the importance of partnership working and collaboration…

We are delighted to recognise the achievements of colleges, their staff and learners, through our support of the CDN Virtual College Awards 2020.

Good luck to all the finalists, and particularly those in our sponsored category – the Essential Skills Award.

We talk a lot about collaboration in education and training – and rightly so. Together with our partners and stakeholders, SQA has a shared endeavour to deliver for learners across Scotland. This has never been more important than during this extraordinarily difficult time.

Partnership has always been an essential part of our work and we have enjoyed very positive and constructive relationships with individual colleges, their regional boards and with Colleges Scotland, and College Development Network for many years.

We are continually grateful for your ongoing participation, advice and guidance on groups, such as our College Quality Focus Group, our Qualification Design Teams, and of course our Advisory Council, and Board of Management.

Working together and supporting each other, and our shared priority to ensure the best for every learner, has never been more important.

At the start of lockdown, we reached out to colleges to agree how best to ensure learners’ hard work was recognised fairly. That engagement with the sector continues into the 2020-21 session and includes:

  • Our SQA/College Quality Focus Group, made up of college quality managers, who have been meeting regularly, to agree processes and support;
  • We have met regularly with:

o college principals and vice-principals
o Colleges Scotland

  • We have participated in the Scottish Government Ministerial Further and Higher Education group.

SQA has continued to work collaboratively with all our partners and stakeholders, through the prototype design phase of the NextGen development of new Higher National qualifications. Subject practitioners have, and will continue to play, a key role in the design of the qualifications as members of the Qualification Development Teams, and senior leaders from Scotland’s colleges are helping to lead the NextGen project through the External Reference and Steering Group.

The pace of events over the past year, and the scale of adaptation that we have collectively had to accommodate, has been unprecedented. It has only been possible because of the continued support SQA has received from colleges, and the wider further education sector, utilising all the skills, knowledge and expertise of all those involved. It has been a truly joint, pragmatic approach – with learners at the heart of what we are putting in place.

You can find information and guidance regarding Graded Units for SQA Higher National Certificates, Higher National Diplomas, and SQA Advanced Qualifications in session 20-21 on our website. More updates are available via our HN Hub.

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