Ensuring Scotland’s young people get the qualifications they deserve in 2021: a head teacher’s perspective

May is always a hard month – of work assessment, study and worry over attainment in the cycle of a school year. In 2021, following a global pandemic, the challenge has been greater than usual. It is important to consider this pressure in the wider context of the COVID-recovery landscape, and for school leaders to consider the parameters and guidelines negotiated and set out by leaders of the teaching unions, professional associations, the Scottish Qualifications Authority and the Scottish Government.…

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National Qualifications 2021 Group – Disruption to Learning – Parent/carer message

Monday 10th May 2021 The National Qualifications 2021 Group* appreciates that you may have concerns regarding the levels of disruption to your child’s learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effects this will have on gathering the evidence that their teachers or lecturers need to determine provisional results for National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher. Flexibility in gathering learner evidence Provisional results in 2021 will be based on teachers and lecturers using learners’ evidence of their knowledge, skills and…

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National Qualifications 2021 Group – Disruption to Learning – Learner message

Monday 10th May 2021 The National Qualifications 2021 Group* appreciates that you may have concerns regarding the levels of disruption to your learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effects this will have on gathering the evidence that your teachers or lecturers need to determine provisional results for National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher.

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Delivering the Alternative Certification Model

Since their return to school in August last year, a number of young people have experienced periods of self-isolation in order to support public health efforts to suppress the virus and keep everyone safe. These were difficult and challenging times, and many questions were raised about how qualifications could be awarded under these circumstances. However, as Tony McDaid, Executive Director at South Lanarkshire Council writes, the resilience shown by learners, teachers, lecturers, and the wider education community gives him hope…

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Get Results Ready with MySQA

We at SQA recognise that it has been a hugely challenging time for everyone undertaking National Qualifications this year. With national exams being cancelled and learning being disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Qualifications 2021 Group*, which includes SQA along with other education organisations, created a different way to award National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher results.

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SQA supports employers and training providers delivering awards and courses

Throughout the challenges of the past year, the whole of Scotland’s education and training system has been working together to ensure learners studying at every level receive the results they deserve. SQA is continuing to work closely with its partners from across Scotland’s education and training sector through the National Qualifications 2021 Group* and the Higher National and Vocational Qualifications (HNVQ) 2021 Group**, and we are committed to supporting employers and training providers in their assessment of this year’s candidates.…

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Update from the National Qualifications 2021 Group: Alternative Certification Model Stage 2 – parents and carers

14 April 2021 As your child returns from their Easter break, the National Qualifications 2021 Group* appreciates that you may have questions and will be looking to your child’s school, college or training provider for guidance and support. Following the cancellation of exams by the Scottish Government, an Alternative Certification Model, the way results will be decided this year, has been created by the National Qualifications 2021 Group* which includes professionals from across the education system, as well as a…

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Update from the National Qualifications 2021 Group: Alternative Certification Model Stage 2 – learners

14 April 2021 As you return from your Easter break, the National Qualifications 2021 Group* appreciates that you may be feeling worried and have questions about assessment this year, and will be looking to your school, college or training provider for guidance and support. Following the cancellation of exams by the Scottish Government, an Alternative Certification Model, the way your results will be decided this year, has been created by the National Qualifications 2021 Group* which includes professionals from across…

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How will my results be decided this year? Your questions answered.

The 2021 National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams are cancelled due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This means SQA needs a different way to decide your National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher results. SQA is a member of the National Qualifications 2021 Group*, and together the group has agreed the Alternative Certification Model which will be used to award this year’s National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher results. The Scottish Youth Parliament, who represent the views…

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NQ2021 Group answers questions from parents and carers

Yesterday evening we had the privilege of taking part in an online question and answer session delivered by the National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS). With the 2021 exams being cancelled, we know how important it is to help parents, carers and learners stay informed of what this means for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses. Hundreds of parents and carers listened in last night as representatives from the NPFS, the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)…

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Vocational qualifications in 2020-21 – update for parents and carers

Many school learners will be studying for vocational qualifications – such as National Progression Awards or Skills for Work courses which are often part of Foundation Apprenticeships – through School-College partnerships (or similar) this year. If so, they may be assessed through an alternative process developed for these qualifications in 2020-21. This is separate to the Alternative Certification Model being used to result National Qualifications this year.

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Update for Scottish College learners in 2020-21

This year, more than any other, is a real challenge for you as a learner. You are probably finding it more difficult to learn, and finding assessment more of a challenge, given the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. The education system across Scotland is working hard to support colleges to find ways to ease the assessment burden for you, whilst making sure that your qualification will still hold real value for you in the future.

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Vocational qualifications in 2020-21 – update for school learners

This year, more than any other, is a real challenge for you as a learner. You are probably finding it more difficult to learn, and finding assessment more of a challenge, given the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. If you are a school pupil, you might be studying for vocational qualifications – such as National Progression Awards or Skills for Work courses which are often part of Foundation Apprenticeships – through a School-College partnership (or similar).

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Working in partnership – delivering qualifications in 2021

Throughout the challenges of the past year, the whole of Scotland’s education system has been working together to ensure learners studying at every level receive the results they deserve. SQA is continuing to work closely with its partners from across the education sector through the National Qualifications 2021 Group*, and the Higher National and Vocational Qualifications (HNVQ) 2021 Group** and we are committed to supporting teachers and lecturers in their key role in assessing learners’ evidence.

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SQA seeks views on 2021 Appeals Process

We expect parents, carers and learners to have lots of questions about how this year’s qualifications will be awarded given the challenges we are all facing with the pandemic. Our earlier blog about the Alternative Certification Model for National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher courses answers some of those questions, by setting out the timescales, roles, and responsibilities for four of the five stages of the awarding approach we will use this year. We know of course that many people…

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Delivering for learners – National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Results 2020-21

SQA understands that this is a very challenging time for learners, their parents and carers, school and college staff and training providers involved in delivering this year’s National Qualifications. We thank all of you for your continuing hard work, dedication, understanding, and support. Everyone working at SQA and across the Scottish education system is committed to ensuring young people across the country have the opportunity to realise their potential and gain the results they deserve.

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Delivering National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher results in 2020-21 – learners

Following the First Minister’s announcement earlier this afternoon, the National Qualifications Group* is sharing more information about how National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses will be resulted in session 2020-21. The stages for delivering National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher results in 2021 make up the alternative certification model. This includes the Appeals service for 2021. Further information on the Appeals service will be available after public consultation. The Group knows that when you go back into your classrooms…

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Delivering National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher results in 2020-21 – parents/carers

Following the First Minister’s announcement earlier this afternoon, the National Qualifications Group* is sharing further information about the alternative certification model. This is how National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses will be resulted in session 2020-21. Further information about the Appeals service for 2021 will be available following consultation. The Group understands that when your child returns to their classroom they will need time with their teachers and lecturers to review their learning. This is known as consolidating your…

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Update on National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses 2020-21 – Parent/carer message

With remote learning continuing until at least mid-February, the National Qualifications 2021 Group appreciates that you may be anxious to know how this will impact on your child and their school or college. We have written to schools and colleges to remind them that maximising learning and teaching time remains the current priority. Overall assessment of your child’s educational achievements (also described as attainment) should therefore take place once they are back in school or college.

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Update on National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses 2020-21 – Learner message

With remote learning continuing until at least mid-February, the National Qualifications 2021 Group appreciates that you may be anxious to know how this will impact on you and your school or college. We have written to schools and colleges to remind them that maximising learning and teaching time remains the current priority. Overall assessment of your educational achievements (also described as attainment) should therefore take place once you are back in school or college. Evidence of your attainment remains a…

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