SQA News Update

SQA statement on coursework for National Courses

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Following the announcement by the First Minister on Sunday, that no young person with SQA coursework to complete should attend school to do so, we continue to work hard on how we should take coursework evidence into account, in determining young people’s final grades.

Everyone here at SQA will do their utmost, given the current situation, and with the support of the education system, to ensure that learners’ hard work is rightly and fairly recognised and allows them to proceed to further learning or work.

The current public health advice has meant that we have had to make some really difficult decisions about coursework. This means that for this year, schools and colleges are not required to submit learner coursework for marking, in Higher and Advanced Higher courses.

We have taken this difficult decision to be as fair as possible to all Higher and Advanced Higher candidates, whilst taking on board the current public health advice, the many varied coursework requirements across different subjects, and how these are managed in schools and colleges across the country.

I appreciate that some learners may have already completed their coursework for Higher and Advanced Higher courses. This work can still be used as part of the suite of evidence for teachers and lecturers to draw on as they consider estimated grades.

We have received coursework for a range of National 5 subjects and have contacted National 5 coursework markers to confirm marking arrangements. All National 5 coursework, due to be uplifted in April and May, will not be submitted for marking.

We will provide further details on the estimation of grades, that we will need from teachers and lecturers to inform certification, and fuller details of our approach to certification, as soon as possible.

This is an unprecedented situation for us all, and circumstances are rapidly changing. With every change in circumstances, we continue to consider how best to recognise learner achievement in as fair a way as possible.

Please be assured that everyone here at SQA is fully committed to working with you to deliver for Scotland’s young people. Thank you for your patience and continued co-operation.

Fiona Robertson
SQA Chief Executive and Scotland’s Chief Examiner

Deputy First Minister Update

The Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, has updated advice on support for Senior Phase students in relation to completion of course work. He states that, on the basis of public health advice he has decided that, with immediate effect, no young person with course work to complete should attend school or other education setting to do so. Where course work can be completed remotely, and safely following public health advice, then he is requesting that schools make arrangements to do so.

The SQA Chief Examiner will be setting out how the SQA will now aim to certificate young people’s qualifications and achievements as soon as possible.

We shall keep you fully up to date with all developments as they unfold.

School Closure reminder

As you know, following a decision by the Scottish Government, all schools in Scotland will close from today (20.03.2020). As yet, there is no date set for schools to re-open.

South Lanarkshire Council is currently responding to the Government’s requirement that provision is made for vulnerable young people and the children of key workers. In the first instance, on Monday and Tuesday of next week, the school will be open for children of key workers in Category 1 (Health and Care workers supporting COVID and associated staff; Health and Care workers supporting life threatening emergency work, as well as critical primary and community care provision; Energy suppliers; staff providing childcare for other category staff i.e. teachers, and all other school staff including facilities personnel). Pupils will also be able to access the school during the lunch break to take up their Free School Entitlement. Digital learning resources have placed on the school’s website and can be accessed via the link below:


Skills Development Scotland

Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the closure of the school, Skills Development Scotland cannot deliver career services face to face, but they are still there to help. You can contact your school Careers Advisers, Jennifer Millar & Kay Wilkie for career information, advice and guidance at jennifer.millar@sds.co.uk or kay.wilkie@sds.co.uk or visit myworldofwork.co.uk.

You can also find their services for parents/carers online at myworldofwork.co.uk and www.mykidscareer.com.