Thu 16 Sep, 2021

The system of appealing exams should not give those at wealthy private schools an unfair advantage, the Scottish Greens have said.

At FMQS Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer raised the issue after exams body the SQA published plans for next year’s assessments, which suggested direct appeals would remain in place if exams were again disrupted by COVID. 

The pre-COVID system of appeals saw schools charged a fee by the SQA if they wished for a pupil’s exam paper to be remarked. This led to private schools appealing grades far more than state schools. 

Ross Greer said:

“It appears some kind of provision for direct appeals will be maintained, which is to be welcomed. But whether normal exams go ahead or not, any appeal provision must be free and not see a return to the previous system where the SQA charged a fee per appeal. This massively advantaged the already privileged pupils at private schools, widening the existing inequalities in education.

“I’m encouraged that the First Minister acknowledged that the appeals system must be accessible to all and that some of the positive measures introduced due to the pandemic should be maintained permanently for the sake of greater equality. This bodes well for the new system of assessments created when the SQA is replaced.”

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