SQA Appeals Service 2021 – a guide for parents and carers

SQA has confirmed that its new appeals service for this year’s National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher qualifications will give learners the opportunity, for the first time, to register that they want to appeal directly with SQA from Friday 25 June.

The free appeals service is the fifth and final stage of the alternative certification model that will be used to award your child’s National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications this year.

Your child’s teachers and lecturers are using a range of assessment evidence to decide what your child’s results should be, and every effort is being made to ensure your child gets the right result, first time. However, the ability to appeal their grade is important.

The grounds for appeal are broad. There are three types of appeal:

  • an appeal against the academic judgement made;
  • an appeal against an unresolved administrative error;
  • an appeal on grounds of discrimination where:

(i)  there has been a breach of the Equality Act 2010 (which must have been either acknowledged by your school, college or training provider or established by a court or the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman), or

(ii)  your school, college or training provider failed to provide agreed Assessment Arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions and an information booklet for learners are available.

An online guide that shows what this year’s appeals means for your child is also available.

Appeals Service – what happens when

The various stages of the appeals process are outlined below. An interactive guide to what happens at each of these stages can be found on our website.

My child has experienced significant disruption to learning – will this be taken into account?

We know that this has been an exceptionally difficult year for young people but especially so for those who have had their learning and teaching unduly disadvantaged by severe disruption – for example by medical conditions, bereavement, self-isolation, or shielding – that has meant they could not complete all the aspects of their assessments.

These gaps in learners’ assessments mean there will not be enough evidence for schools, colleges and training providers to generate a provisional grade and give it to SQA by Friday 25 June.

For young people facing these circumstances, there is a contingency in place that will allow their school, college or training provider to conduct these outstanding assessments and send provisional results to SQA by noon on Friday 3 September.

It has been agreed that my child will complete assessments at a later date – how will this work?

These outstanding assessments will take place once schools, colleges and training providers have returned following the summer break. This arrangement is in place for learners who have undertaken all the required learning for the course, so no additional teaching time at their school, college or training provider is required.

Any young person who has left school, college or a training provider and has agreed to use this service will need to return to their school, college or training provider by appointment to complete their assessments.

It is important that learners are aware that, while provisional grades sent to SQA by noon on Friday 3 September can be appealed against, due to UCAS deadlines they will not be eligible for a priority appeal.

Universities and colleges are aware that some learners will be certificated for their courses at a later date, and they should account for this in their admissions process.

Further information on how this disruption is being managed has been published by the National Qualifications 2021 Group.

Where can I find more information on the appeals service?

To stay up to date, visit www.sqa.org.uk/NQ2021 and follow us on Facebook @ScottishQualificationsAuthority.

Frequently Asked Questions can be found on our website.