Scotland’s results day: School pupils get their grades after exam-free year

Scotland's school pupils are receiving their results after the Covid-19 pandemic forced exams to be cancelled for the first time in history.

About 138,000 students are finding out their grades in Nationals, Highers and Advanced Higher courses.

This year's results will be based on estimates from their teachers.

Those who signed up for text or email alerts started to their grades from 0800 onwards, while certificates will arrive in the post during the day.

Exams were cancelled across the UK as schools closed and the country went into lockdown in March.

Scottish school pupils traditionally find out their results earlier than those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who will receive their grades for A-levels on 13 August and GCSEs on 20 August.

This year was the first time since 1888 that exams were cancelled in Scottish schools.

Pupils should have been sitting exams in National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher subjects in May and June. There are no formal exams for National 2, National 3 and National 4 qualifications.

What help is available to pupils?

Skills Development Scotland runs a free results helpline offering careers advice, information and guidance on 0808 100 8000.

It will be open from 0800 to 2000 on Tuesday and Wednesday, then 0900 to 1700 on Thursday and Friday. Information and advice is also available on the My World of Work website.

James Russell, from SDS, said this year was "unlike any other" and that it was understandable that young people and their families would be feeling more anxious than usual.

"Our advice and support is available and our message is if your results aren't what you expected, don't worry – you have lots of options," he said.

The #NoWrongPath campaign is encouraging people to share their own stories on social media to highlight the different paths available to young people who may be feeling disheartened by their results.

The SQA's candidate advice line will run from 0800 to 1800 on Tuesday, and from 0830 to 1700 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The number is 0345 279 1000.

Support and advice is also available on the SQA website and on BBC Bitesize. Young people can also call Childline on 0800 1111 or get advice about exam results on its website.

As in the rest of the UK, the grades of pupils who were unable to sit exams have been worked out using estimates made by their teachers based on their performance over the school year.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) said it had sought to "uphold the integrity and credibility" of the system, but that its efforts had been focused on "ensuring fairness for all learners".

Teachers were asked to place students within bands for each subject, and rank their pupils in order.

These assessments were then checked by the SQA, which said grades had been moderated "where appropriate" to "maintain national standards".

There is one crucial test for the qualifications system this year: have emergency arrangements worked?

The key issue is whether candidates receive results which are fair and credible.

The grades will be based on teacher estimates but had to be validated. This could mean grades going up or down.

Some teachers argue this is unnecessary, but the SQA argues that validation is necessary to ensure the results have full credibility. The validation should ensure that pass rates and the numbers getting particular grades are comparable to previous years.

Many within education would strongly caution against attempting to analyse this year's data for evidence of improvements or decline in the performance of candidates.

However, there have been conceRead More – Source

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