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Teachers will decide pupil results

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By Charlotte MacKay
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Teachers will decide pupil results

FINAL grades for the region's pupils who were due to sit exams later this spring will be determined based on estimates by teachers, the national exam board confirmed this week.

On Monday the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) chief executive said they would be using an “alternative certification model” to award grades to school pupils and college students who were due to sit National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher exams. She said: “With no exams taking place this year and no feasible way for the SQA to mark coursework, this means estimated grades will be the core element of certification.

“Teachers and lecturers are best placed to have a strong understanding of how their learners have performed and, based on their experience and the evidence available, what a learner would be expected to achieve in each course. An estimated grade is not just the result of one prelim or one project, but is an overall judgement based on all activity across the year.”

All schools and colleges in Scotland have been asked to provide estimated grades to the SQA by Friday May 29. These will then be moderated by the SQA to ensure consistency across schools and with results from previous years, and individual results will be issued to learners on August 4. After that date a free appeal process will be open for schools and colleges to request a review of grades award to an individual learner or group of learners.

In a letter sent to all senior phase students this week, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s director of skills, education and learning Gillian Brydson said: “As well as looking at prelim results, teachers will also review ongoing classwork, class tests, folio pieces etc. There is no expectation that you will need to submit more pieces of assessment or sit any further prelims. Teachers and schools also have data about any prior learning you have completed and they know about normal patterns of attainment going back over a number of years.

“I am working closely with your headteachers to ensure that robust and consistent quality assurance processes are in place to justify decisions about estimated grades so that all young people achieve the awards they deserve.”

Dr Brydson said students hoping to progress to further or higher education next year will be kept informed about next steps, and that the local authority is working with Skills Development Scotland to provide support to anyone who needs it. She also advised any pupils who have not completed their subject choices for next year or who still need to submit applications for college academy courses or foundation apprenticeships to contact their school as soon as possible.

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