Delivering your National 5 results in 2021 – Learner message

On 7 October, the Deputy First Minister announced that for 2020-21, National 5 results will be based on teacher and lecturer judgement supported by a strong set of checks which we call ‘quality assurance.’ These checks will be carried out by your school or college, local authority and SQA.

The National Qualifications 2021 Group has overseen the development of the quality assurance process which will support teachers and lecturers in providing your provisional results for session 2020-21. Provisional results will be based on teacher and/or lecturer judgement of your assessment evidence. These results will be finalised following various checks by your school or college, your local authority and SQA. This will include senior subject specialists from SQA checking samples of assessments from your school or college. They will be checking that your assessments have been marked to the national standard.

Here’s how the National 5 quality assurance model will work in session 2020-21:

  • Your school and/or college uses guidance and assessment materials to help gather your evidence.
  • Schools and colleges are supported in using the national standard for when they decide your provisional results.
  • SQA will request, review and give feedback on samples of assessment evidence from your school and/or college.
  • Your school and/or college and local authority will check your assessment evidence.
  • Your school and/or college and local authority will look at SQA feedback and check your provisional results.
  • Your school and/or college will send your provisional results to SQA by 28 May 2021.
  • SQA will carry out a national check of the provisional results. We may follow up with your school and/or college about any issues we find.

After SQA checks the provisional results, your school or college might be asked to update this result and resend it to SQA. Any changes to your provisional results will only happen after your school or college talk to SQA, and once a senior subject specialist in SQA has reviewed the evidence sent in by your school or college.

Fairness for you

These checks are being put in place to make sure that a National 5 awarded in the north of Scotland is of the same standard as one which is awarded in the south of Scotland and everywhere in between.

We are also developing an equality impact assessment as part of this quality assurance model which aims to make sure that results are fair for all National 5 learners. Schools, colleges, local authorities and SQA are committed to working together to support teachers and lecturers in providing your provisional results in 2020-21.

We are discussing the appeals process for 2020-21 and will keep you informed of progress. To stay up to date on 2021 National Qualifications visit www.sqa.org.uk/NQ2021.

The National Qualifications 2021 Group*

*Represented by the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES), Colleges Scotland, Education Scotland, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), School Leaders Scotland (SLS), the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS), Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), the Scottish Government, National Parent Forum of Scotland and, from this week, the Scottish Youth Parliament.