Update for Pupils, Parents and Carers - 25 March 2021

Update for Pupils, Parents & Carers from Derek Brown, Executive Director, Education and Families

Dear Pupils, Parents and Carers,
As you will be aware, the exam diet for this year has been cancelled and an Alternative Certification Model has been developed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) to ensure that all of our young people have their attainment and achievements recognised during this difficult time.

As pupils return to school, the main focus will be on learning and teaching, and assessment will be based on demonstrated attainment in a number of ways, including continuous assessment, class tests and SQA materials.

During this most recent period of restrictions, schools have used a variety of methods to ensure that high quality learning and teaching can take place, and this has allowed pupils to continue developing their skills and knowledge. This will enable pupils to demonstrate their progress when they return full time after the Spring Break.

Schools are best placed to determine approaches to assessment that fit the needs of their own young people, and best reflect actual performance. However, please be reassured that schools will endeavour to use a variety of approaches to ensure pupils demonstrate their achievement. Robust mechanisms are in place to ensure that pupils get the right opportunities to demonstrate their potential. All schools will be working within a moderation framework and will work collaboratively with each other to ensure national standards are adhered to. Schools will be sharing “working grades” with pupils to inform next steps in learning and to provide a guide to likely attainment prior to the submission of the Provisional Grade to SQA. Your school will contact you with more detail to confirm this process in due course.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff in schools for all they are doing to support our learners during this difficult period, and to thank you for your continued forbearance. We are all mindful of the impact this time has had on the health and mental well-being of children and adults alike, but the added stress for pupils in the Senior Phase has been considerable and I hope that this provides some clarity for the remainder of this session.

Yours Sincerely,

Derek Brown
Executive Director, Education and Families