SQA Exam Diet and Skills Development Scotland Support Update

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25 March 2020

Dear Parent / Carer

SQA Exam Diet and Skills Development Scotland Support

You will now be fully aware the 2020 exam diet has been cancelled. Inevitably this means there will be some uncertainty for our young people who were preparing for exams. I want to reassure you and your children that teachers, who know your children best as learners, will be doing everything they can to ensure they are awarded their best possible qualification(s).

Part of what teachers do already is to gather ongoing evidence throughout the year for completing courses for qualifications. This includes completing coursework, assignments and folios.

Our teachers will work hard to use all available evidence to support their professional judgement to give accurate predictions. I want to emphasise that there is no need for your child to be in school to complete work. We now know following the updated announcement by the SQA on 24 March that certification will be based on predicted attainment, coursework and assessment from throughout the year.

The SQA will provide further details on the estimation of grades as soon as possible and they will inform us of what they will need from teachers and the approach that will be taken to certification. At this stage I would ask you not to contact your child’s school as we are still awaiting further instructions from SQA.

The SQA have indicated that their post-results service will be free of charge this year. This service is when the school are concerned about the grade your child has been awarded and they can request a clerical review. Parents cannot request this directly to the SQA.

The current SQA system has a large amount of statistical information that will allow for checks and balances to be made to ensure a fair outcome for your child. This includes statistical checks on the normal pattern of attainment across a school, a subject area and across the local authority. We will continue to work with SQA to ensure the hard work of our young people has been properly recognised and accredited fairly.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS)

I also wanted to take this opportunity to inform you that SDS are still continuing to do the following: –

  • Provide career, information, advice and guidance for all young people. Our school careers advisers are endeavouring to maintain contact with pupils and they are looking at how we can further develop on-line services to support them. This will be done via telephone, Skype or online. To speak to a Careers Adviser call your local centre on 01592 645180 (Kirkcaldy Centre) and 01383 745610 (Dunfermline Centre). Details of all our centres can be found on My World of Work. Calls are being automatically re-routed to advisers (all of whom are home-working). Messaging can be provided for your comms channels if needed. Please be reassured that SDS Careers Advisers will continue to proactively contact pupils to offer them ongoing support.
  • Work with the SQA and other awarding bodies in relation to Foundation Apprenticeships. This work will support their guidance for individuals and learning providers to ensure that the effects of disruption are minimised and that wherever possible, apprentices and learners are not negatively impacted in the longer term.
  • Share social media posts from SDS social channels to inform teachers, pupils, parents and carers of our ongoing support.

As soon as we have any further information we will share this with you. Thank you in anticipation of your ongoing support.

Yours sincerely

Maria Lloyd

Head of Education (Secondary Schools and Specialist Support)


SQA Exam Diet Update 25032020