SQA Update – Monday 20th April

Monday 20th April 2020

This afternoon SQA released a further statement on their alternative certification model for 2020. They are are basing all of their work on three broad principles:

SQA has outlined that the process of certification will be a ‘four step process’:

1. Estimates: with no exams or coursework being externally assessed by SQA, the core element for students’ results will be the estimates grades provided by schools.  Please rest assured that all our estimates will be a holistic, evidence based prediction of each students final attainment in N5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses.  Estimates are a professional judgement by teachers, based on all aspects of each course, and bring together demonstrated and inferred attainment for each candidate.  This helps to ensure that no individual or school is disadvantaged by the national decision to close all schools in March.

2. Awarding: SQA, as our national examination body, will review and moderate estimates submitted by schools.  This means that school estimates will not necessarily be the final grade awarded to students.  SQA’s moderation of school estimates is an internal, and not entirely transparent, process.  However, we do know that SQA will apply an analysis of a range of data, gathered over previous sessions, to ensure that final grades awarded are consistent with results from previous years.  The range of data applied by SQA to moderate school estimates will include;

All of the above is clearly a complex process, with subtle differences for individual candidates, for each subject and levels within subjects.  We do not know for certain how this part of the process will affect the estimates we submit as they evolve into the grades awarded by SQA.

3. Results and Certification: SQA will inform students of their results on the 4th of August. Students are encouraged to sign-up to MySQA, as a direct way to receive their results.

4. Appeals: This year there will be a free appeals service to review any results that are felt to be unfair. As part of this service, schools will be required to submit their evidence to SQA. This evidence will then be reviewed by senior examiners and students’ grades adjusted, as appropriate.

SQA has now provided a more detailed document for schools on how estimates should be derived and submitted this year. As a school, we will be working on ensuring our processes are fully in line with SQA guidance and our estimate grades will be subject to a series of ‘checks’ prior to their submission on the 29th May.

We are still awaiting further guidance on the Appeals process, we will share this with you in due course.

You can read the statement in full here.

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