Further to our survey on the topic of Higher and Advanced Higher exam diet there was a clear message that an overwhelming majority (75.14%) of parents and carers wanted any decision to cancel the Higher and Advanced Higher exam diet to be made prior to Christmas and we welcome the Deputy First Minister’s decision to make a prompt announcement.

We note that of the five thousand parents that responded there is strong confidence in the judgement of teachers to predict grades for children and young people with an overwhelming number of participants identifying confidence in the judgement of teaching staff should predicted grades be used as part of the Higher and Advanced Higher awards (23.36% a great deal, 31.70% a lot) 

The Deputy First Minister also announced that for 2020–21, National 5 results will be based on teacher and lecturer judgement supported by a robust set of checks — or quality assurance — which will be carried out by your child’s school or college, local authority and SQA.

The National Parent Forum of Scotland forms part of the National Qualifications 2021 Group along side Education Scotland, Scottish Government, Scottish Youth Parliament, SQA, Local Authorities, School Leaders Scotland, Colleges Scotland, Scottish Council for Independent Schools and the EIS teaching union.  The National Qualifications 2021 Group has overseen the development of the quality assurance process which will support teachers and lecturers in providing your child’s provisional results for session 2020–21. Updates from the group are available through www.sqa.org.uk/NQ2021.

We feel that this is a pragmatic approach to a fair and equitable outcome for all senior phase pupils.

We know from our correspondence with parents and carers across the country, that our young people are encountering difficult circumstances in their day to day learning, with self-isolation of both pupils and staff impacting their health and wellbeing at this critical time in their lives. 

We hope this timeous decision will enable pupils, teachers and the SQA to have adequate time and resources to achieve the results that are deserved and will be a key to opening up further opportunities for the young people.  Positive destinations are vitally important to all young people and we understand that this is a challenge at any time, not least during the COVID pandemic.