Thu 6 Aug, 2020

Scottish Greens Education Spokesperson Ross Greer MSP has called for the SQA to adopt a ‘no detriment’ policy for its appeals process, to ensure a fairer outcome for the thousands of young people who saw their grades lowered by SQA moderators.

‘No detriment’ policies were adopted by Scottish universities this year to ensure that students weren’t treated unfairly due to the pandemic. Scottish Greens are calling for a similar policy for SQA appeals, which would see young people be given a grade no lower than what they achieved in their prelim. This follows reports of young people who achieved high marks in prelim exams being issued significantly lower final grades by the SQA. 

Ross Greer MSP said: 

“The SQA and the Scottish Government were warned by the Greens, yet they pressed ahead with this scandalous grade moderation system, one that has clearly penalised thousands of young people simply for living in less well-off communities.

“A no-detriment policy might not solve all of the problems created by the SQA, but it would see a significant number of young people be awarded a grade far closer to the one they deserve. 

 “I’ve been shocked by the messages from young people who achieved an A in their prelims but were then awarded C or even D grades by the SQA. 

“Universities in Scotland and around the globe immediately adopted no-detriment policies when the pandemic began and it became clear that normal exams would not be possible. 

“It’s time for the SQA and Scottish Government to begin repairing the damage they have caused by adopting a no-detriment policy now.

“Scotland’s exam system entrenches inequality and the system which replaced it this year was designed to simply preserve rather than tackle that. It’s long past time that the Scottish Government took seriously the job of supporting young people in our most deprived communities by radically reforming this deeply unjust system.”

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