SQA exam and appeal information



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Information updates on the current issues surrounding the 2020 SQA exam results

If you have any questions about this, contact charlotte.addison@deafaction.org 


Tuesday 11 August 

Following on from Education Secretary John Swinney’s statement to Parliament, where it was announced all downgraded awards will be withdrawn and results re-issued based solely on teacher or lecturer judgement. 

Friday 14 August 2020 

Following the Deputy First Minister’s Ministerial Direction to SQA on Tuesday 11 August, relating to SQA’s certification model for 2020, SQA can now confirm that the Deputy First Minister has directed us to provide an appeals process for centres. 

This appeals process allows for three grounds upon which centres can submit an appeal. 

Firstly, centres can submit an appeal if they discover that an administrative error was made when they submitted their estimate or entry information for a candidate.  

Secondly, a centre’s internal review process may disclose that a candidate’s estimate was affected by discrimination or other conduct by the centre that is unacceptable under the Equality Act 2010.  

Lastly, where the Head of Centre believes that there has been an error within SQA’s internal processes for confirming results to centres following the 11 August announcement, they can also appeal. 

SQA anticipates that in all three circumstances such appeals will arise only exceptionally. 

Priority will be given for candidates who need to confirm a university or college place. Outcomes of these appeals will be advised to UCAS by 4 September. 

Wednesday 19 August 

Following the Deputy First Minister’s direction to SQA, there are three grounds upon which a centre can submit an appeal. 

The Head of Centre believes there has been: 

  1. an error within SQA’s internal processes for reinstating the original centre estimate. 
  1. an administrative error within the centre leading to provision of estimate information to SQA which did not accurately reflect the centre’s intention at the time of submission, and/or 
  1. discrimination or other conduct contrary to the Equality Act 2010 identified within the centre relating to protected characteristics, leading to the provision of estimate information to SQA which does not accurately reflect the centre’s view following investigation of the circumstances carried out by the centre. 

It is only the Head of Centre, or their nominated representative, using their professional judgement and discretion, who can submit an appeal. 

Ground 2 above does not permit an appeal where the centre seeks to revise the original estimate on the basis that it considers that its academic judgement as to the estimate in May was wrong. 

Centres are asked to ensure the following in progressing an appeal: 

  • The request must be submitted using SQA’s ‘request for consideration by exception’ form. 
  • The request must come from the Head of Centre, or their nominated representative, and include justification for the request. 
  • Candidate consent must be obtained by the centre before submitting a request. 
  • Correction of an administrative error made by the centre may result in a change of grade – up or down. Any downward grade change will be as requested by the centre. 
  • The centre must confirm that the new estimate or entry now sought can be supported by evidence held by the centre and can be provided if requested 
  • Centres are asked to submit priority requests for university or college admission as soon as possible and no later than 25 August. Details of the conditional offer must be provided when making the request. Outcomes will be advised to UCAS by 4 September. 
  • All other requests must be submitted by 7 September. 

Useful resources for more information 

Click here to visit UCAS – information on revised University place offers

Click here to visit the SQA website – for information on appeals and other candidate information