New schools COVID-19 assessment model

Date: 21st June 2021
Category: Education, Leisure and Cultural Activities, Education, including vocational education

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Formal school exams have been cancelled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic, and with schools struggling with the replacement system of “teacher judgement” assessments, SQA have launched a new appeals service where students can appeal their results.

The return to remote learning in January has resulted in an even smaller space of time for teachers to assess students. For many students, this has resulted in a bulk of assessments at once in a very short space of time.

Now, SQA has offered a new appeals service where learners can appeal their results directly to SQA for free. However, Scottish Youth Parliament has analysed this service and written to SQA to ask the board to consider introducing a no detriment policy, so that exceptional circumstances, like the increasing mental health problems in young people which stem from the pandemic, will be taken into account. SYP along with many signatories, including Together, fear that the current appeals process does not uphold young people’s rights and could further exacerbate the mental health crisis facing this generation.

SQA has recently replied to this letter, to confirm that an Equality Impact Assessment and a Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment were produced that summarise the evidence considered during the development of the appeals service and no further changes will be made to the current appeals policy.