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Testing times: SQA spell Johann Lamont's name incorrectly in Modern Studies exam paper

A spelling mistake around the name of the Scottish Labour leader marred some question papers as the exam season started for thousands of Scottish school pupils.

A question in the Modern Studies Intermediate 2 test paper about women in politics misspelled the first name of Johann Lamont as "Joann".

A notice was issued along with the exam papers to highlight the mistake and invigilators informed pupils before they started.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) said the error was "identified during the editorial process" and would not have affected pupils' understanding of the question.

Labour said it hoped the mistake did not put any pupils off.

An SQA spokeswoman said: "A correction notice was issued alongside the Modern Studies Intermediate 2 paper, relating to a spelling mistake of Johann Lamont MSP.

"It is standard practice for exam invigilators to make candidates aware of the correction prior to the start of the exam.

"This error was identified during the editorial process and would not have affected the understanding or interpretation of the question."

Ms Lamont used to be a primary school teacher before entering politics and a Labour Party spokesman said: "Clearly, standards have slipped since Johann Lamont left teaching."

He added that Education Secretary Mike Russell had misspelled "First Minister" in an official letter in 2012, saying: "This latest mistake is not a surprise.

"Let's hope it didn't put any pupils off and they all did well in their exams today."

In other exams, thousands of pupils became the first batch to sit the new National 5 tests today, which replace standard grades.

They have been created as part of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), a new course for pupils designed to ''ensure continuity'' through school studies with more ''modern and practical'' skills.

Intermediates, Highers and Advanced Highers will also be taken by S5 and S6 pupils over the next six weeks.

Modern Studies was the first subject to be tested and exams continue until June 6 with the early education and childcare higher exam. Pupils and college students will find out the results on August 5.

The introduction of the CfE has proved controversial, with teachers, parents and unions raising concerns.

Teaching unions have warned about the amount of work linked to the new curriculum, with some teachers saying they have to work more than 60 hours a week.

Unions have also stressed that members are committed to making sure the new qualifications are a success.

There have been complaints about an apparent lack of exam practice papers and one of the architects of the new system left his post only weeks before the new exams begin.

Contextual targeting label: 
Education

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