Following this year’s cancellation of SQA exams at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher levels, schools and local authorities have received additional information from SQA on this year’s alternative certification procedures (Tues 21 April).
This year’s procedures involve 4 steps
Step 1 – School Submission of Pupil Estimate Grades To SQA
With no exams taking place this year and no feasible way for SQA to mark coursework, estimated grades will be the main element of pupils’ certification. Teachers are best placed to have a strong understanding of how their learners have performed and, based on their experience and the evidence available, what a learner would be expected to achieve in each course. An estimated grade is not just the result of one prelim or one project, but is an overall judgement based on all activity across the year. By Friday 29 May 2020, schools and colleges will provide SQA with their estimates of the grades, bands and rank order for each learner, for each course at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.
Step 2 - Awarding
On receipt of school estimate information, SQA will check the information. Such checking will include:
- moderation it, if necessary, to ensure consistency across schools and colleges and with results from previous years;
- comparison with learners’ prior attainment e.g. if learners achieved National 5 or Higher courses, in a previous year
- consideration of a schools’ previous history of estimating and attainment in each subject and level.
Step 3 - Results and Certification
SQA will then process the results to ensure young people receive their results by 4 August 2020. Pupils are strongly encouraged to sign-up to MySQA, SQA’s online and text service, as a direct way to receive their results.
Step 4 - Appeals
After 4 August, a free appeals service will be available to schools to allow them to request a review of the grade awarded for a learner or a group of learners. Schools will receive further details of this year’s appeals process in due course.
Update on Grade Estimates
Following outstanding work by school staff, grade estimates for pupils studying National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Courses have now been submitted to SQA by the due deadline of 29 May 2020. These grade estimates will now be used by SQA to determine pupils' awards/qualifications to be issued on 4 August 2020. Information from SQA about this year's appeal procedures is still awaited by schools.
Following notification from SQA of revised timelines, secondary schools/centres are now addressing the submission of outstanding unit results by Friday 12 June. This covers the English National 5 and Higher Spoken Language results, all units at National 1–4, and SCQF levels 5, 6 and 7 free-standing units.