Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Merry Christmas

We stop for Christmas tomorrow and return on Tuesday, 5 January. It's that time of the year when you reflect on the past year.

One of the highlights was the addition of Hilary to the team, who joined us in June. Hilary replaced Shirley, who many of you know well, but she is full-time and Shirley was part-time, meaning that the team grew. As you probably know, my portfolio is roughly split between Caroline, who takes care of HNs, PDAs and vendors, and Hilary, who takes care of NC, NPAs and SVQs. The team tries hard to be known and visible to the sector and, I think, many of you have got to know Hilary already.

We've had a fairly productive year. Several NPAs were developed, the HND Interactive Media was completed, and a complete suite of SVQs was developed. Two special projects also occupied us - one linked to FITs and one linked to CEOP. The CEOP one was particularly pleasing since we have carved out something of a reputation in the Internet Safety/child protection area.

The HMIe report on the sector (the Aspect report) came out in November and was quite complimentary about SQA's work. In spite of the sector's well known problems (with uptake, achievement and teaching), I believe that the subject has had something of a resurgence in terms of popularity, with early indications about student registrations sounding very positive.

There have been disappointments too. The same report that complimented the range of qualifications also pointed out that there remains too much assessment. I also think that we still take too long to develop qualifications (the HNC/D Computer Games development has slipped a little). And, although the readership of this blog has steadily risen, it's not used interactively, with very few people using it to provide feedback.

I usually provide the names of people for you to contact -- but not today... we'll be enjoying Christmas with family and friends for the next couple of weeks. Have a good one too.

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