30th April in School
28th April 2020
We understand this continues to be a difficult time for all of our young people who are undertaking
qualifications this year to support them into further study at school or into their positive destination
since the cancellation of the National Qualifications 2020 Examinations Diet by the Scottish
On Monday 20th April 2020, the SQA provided schools and Local Authorities with a further update
regarding the alternative certification model due to the COVID-19 outbreak. With no exams taking
place this year and no feasible way for SQA to mark coursework, this means estimated grades will be
the core element of certification. Estimate information is required by the SQA from all of our
secondary schools by Friday 29th May 2020 for all our learners entered for National 5, Higher and
Advanced Higher courses for Session 2019/20.
I would like to reassure you that the staff at each of our secondary schools know their pupils well and
are best placed to judge what a learner would be expected to achieve in each course based on their
experience and evidence available on all activity across the year. We are committed to working with
the SQA to ensure that learners receive their results by the 4th August 2020 and that their hard work is
rightly and fairly recognised and allows progression to further learning or work.
The SQA alternative certification model has 4 main steps resulting in qualification awards ie
Step 1 - Estimates
As outlined above, estimated grades will be the core element of certification and require to be
provided by the 29th May 2020 for each course at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.
Step 2 - Awarding
SQA will then check and validate that information. They will moderate it to ensure consistency across
schools and with results from previous years. SQA will use the information from these estimates to
produce the results for learners, using their national grades for each subject and level.
Step 3 - Results and Certification
SQA will process the results to issue learners with their results by 4th August 2020. All young people
are encouraged to sign-up to MySQA to receive their results by text/email.
Step 4 – Appeals
After 4th August 2020, a free appeals service will be available to allow schools to request a review of
the grade awarded for a learner or a group of learners. Assessment evidence must be available to
support an appeal and the evidence will be reviewed by senior examiners. SQA will provide schools
and colleges with full details of this service shortly.
Further information for parents/carers can be accessed from the SQA website using the
Frequently asked questions can be accessed using this link:
Although this is an uncertain and worrying time, I hope that you are reassured that we have plans in
place to ensure that our young people receive their results by the 4th August 2020 and that their hard
work is rightly and fairly recognised.
I would like to thank you for your ongoing support of our children and young people and school
communities during this time.
Head of Service - Learning & Teaching