SQA results 2020

An image of a young person in front of the text "No young person should be disadvantaged because they were assessed during a global pandemic."

The decision to cancel all 2020’s exams due to the coronavirus pandemic has had an enormous impact on young people’s rights in Scotland.

Since the decision was made in March, our office has raised concerns about how both it and decisions around alternative arrangements have been made.

And we raised further concerns following results day, when grades were calculated through use of an unfair statistical model.

What has our office done around the decision to cancel exams?

From early on, our office has warned the SQA and the Government of:

  • the risks of not involving children and young people in decision making, as is their human right,
  • the need for much greater transparency, and
  • the requirement to take a rights-based approach to ensure all potential disadvantage was mitigated.

Following results day, the Commissioner has called on the SQA and Scottish Government to make sure all young people are treated fairly and get the results they deserve.

And our response to the Scottish Government’s independent review into the results process stresses the need for any future decisions to be made within a framework of children’s rights.

Following the decision to cancel 2021’s Highers and Advanced Highers, the Commissioner has also been clear that the SQA must urgently communicate its alternative assessment plans.

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