Scottish Exams: downgraded pupils to receive new grades

The Scottish Government has announced that pupils whose exam results were downgraded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) are to receive new grades based solely on teacher estimates.

The SQA’s alternative certification model was put in place after exams were cancelled due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

However, due to concerns over downgrading, the Scottish Government is directing the SQA to re-issue downgraded awards solely on the basis of teacher judgement, without reference to historical patterns.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney today apologised to the 75,000 young people whose estimated mark was reduced by the SQA and said that the downgraded awards risked ‘young people, particularly from working class backgrounds may lose faith in education and form the view that no matter how hard you work, the system is against you.’

As a result where a teacher estimate was adjusted down by the SQA, candidates will receive the grade the teacher awarded. And candidates whose entries were adjusted up by the SQA will retain the higher grade.
The SQA will inform schools of the revised results by Friday 21 August for schools to tell pupils. New certificates will be issued in due course.

The SQA will provide new grades to UCAS and other college and university admissions bodies, and the Scottish Government will ensure enough places at colleges and universities so that all places awarded to young people can be taken up

The Scottish Government has asked Professor Mark Priestley of Stirling University to conduct an independent review of the events following the cancellation of the examination diet and make recommendations for the coming year. This will initially report within five weeks.

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