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Appeals 2021 – Learner questions answered

This article provides an overview of the appeals process, and information that will be useful if you choose to register an appeal.

9 July 2021 - SQA - Categories: Advanced Higher, Awarding 2021 Programme, Higher, Learners, National 5

Qualifications 2022

Everyone at SQA hopes you are enjoying a well-deserved summer break, after what has been a uniquely challenging year.

Before the end of term, your school, college or training provider will have confirmed provisional results for your National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher courses.

SQA will not change your provisional results – we will only check that the data that your school, college or training provider submitted to us is what they intended. The provisional result will be the one that you will see on your Scottish Qualifications Certificate, which you will receive on Results Day, Tuesday 10 August.

If you are unhappy with your provisional results, you can register that you want to appeal. You can do this directly on the SQA website.  The service will be open until Thursday 12 August.

Here is an overview of the appeals process, and useful information if you choose to register an appeal.

How does the SQA Appeals Service work?

Our Learner Appeals Booklet 2021 tells you what you need to know about the free appeals service for National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher qualifications in 2021.

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.

Where can I register that I want to appeal and what information will I need to provide?

You can register that you want to appeal directly on the SQA website.  This webpage includes information you will need to complete the registration form and information on things you should consider when deciding whether you want to appeal – please read this guide before you complete the registration form.

This registration form will be open until Thursday 12 August.

More information about the reasons for appealing can be found on our website.

Can I get someone to complete the appeal registration form on my behalf?

Yes, absolutely. There is a section on the appeals registration form that asks if you are a learner representative, and you can provide full details in there. Your representative can help you to complete the form and if required, provide a written explanation on your behalf.  Alternatively, your school, college or training provider can submit an appeal for you if you speak to them when they reopen.

I was told that I would get extra time in my assessments but for one of my subjects I didn’t get it, can I appeal this?

Yes. As long as you had an agreed assessment arrangement in place with your school, college or training provider.

Please speak to your school, college or training provider once they reopen to find out whether that subject had an agreed assessment arrangement in place for you. There must be evidence that an arrangement was agreed previously, and if that is the case, you will be able to appeal.

If you are appealing on the grounds of discrimination, including assessment arrangements, we do ask you to provide a short, written explanation as to what happened and SQA will discuss it with your school, college or training provider, and agree a way forward.

More information about the reasons for appealing can be found on our website.

What is the deadline for registering that I want to appeal?

You can register that you want to appeal until Thursday 12 August. You can do so directly on the SQA website.

Once you have received your Scottish Qualifications Certificate on Results Day, Tuesday 10 August, you should have another discussion with your teacher or lecturer and hear their professional view as to whether an appeal is in your best interests.

If you decide you want to appeal after Thursday 12 August, you can still do so by asking your teacher or lecturer to submit an appeal to SQA for you. They will be able to do this until Tuesday 24 August for priority appeals (you are waiting on a result for a university or college place) and until Friday 27 August for all other appeals. The final decision to appeal is yours.

If you decide not to appeal, you can withdraw your request by Thursday 12 August by completing our withdraw an appeal form or contacting customer@sqa.org.uk.

 What happens once my appeal is submitted?

The appeals registration service will let SQA know that you are wanting to appeal, but it also lets your school, college or training provider know. Once they see your appeal registration, they will work with SQA to process your appeal.

If you are appealing against the academic judgement made:

When your assessment evidence is received, it will be reviewed by SQA against the required national standard for the course.

Like your result, your appeal will be based on the evidence of your knowledge and skills in a course against the national standard. This is necessary to make sure that an A grade in the north of Scotland is worth the same as an A grade in the south of Scotland and everywhere in between.

This means that your grade could go up, go down or stay the same. This is consistent with what we do every year and makes sure that decisions are based on evidence.

If you are appealing against an unresolved administrative error or are appealing on the grounds of discrimination:

SQA will review the submission in discussion with your school, college or training provider.

When will I find out the result of my appeal and will my place at college/university/work be affected?

If you are waiting on a result for a university or college place or for an employment or training programme, your appeal will be processed as a priority, and you must register that you want to appeal by Thursday 12 August. After that, you can ask your teacher or lecturer to submit a priority appeal for you until Tuesday 24 August.

If it is a priority appeal, then you will get the result of that from your school, college or training provider by Wednesday 8 September, which meets Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) timescales.

For all other appeals, so those not waiting for a university or college place, your school, college or training provider will get the outcome as quickly as possible after Wednesday 8 September.

If there has been a change to any of your grades, SQA will issue you with a replacement certificate later in the year.

Where can I find more information on the SQA Appeals Service?

Our Learner Appeals Booklet 2021 tells you what you need to know about the free appeals service for National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher qualifications in 2021.

You can also find an interactive graphic on how the appeals service works on our website, as well as answers to FAQs.

Remember to read our guide to registering an appeal before completing the registration form.

For updates, follow us on Twitter @mysqa_sam and on Facebook @MySQA.