SQA reminds schools, colleges, and training providers of its contingencies for examinations in 2022

Monday 13 December 2021

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has written to schools, colleges and training providers delivering National Qualifications today, restating its contingency plans for examinations in 2022.

When the Scottish Government confirmed its intention for national examinations to take place in 2022, SQA outlined plans detailing three scenarios. SQA, along with Scotland's schools, colleges and training providers are currently in Scenario 1; preparing for the national exam diet with significant modifications to the 2021-22 course assessments – coursework and/or exams – which were announced at the start of the session. These assessment modifications are in place to help learners by taking account of disruption to learning caused by the pandemic.

Should there be significantly more disruption to learning and teaching across the country, the country will enter Scenario 2 and SQA will provide additional support for learners to help them prepare and revise for the 2022 exams, where that is possible. Not all courses will have revision support as some do not have an exam in 2022, or the exam has been reduced in size through the modifications that have already been made. However, in this situation, the vast majority of learners will receive help from revision support in one or more of their courses. There will not be any further modifications made to the course assessments.

If the Scottish Government cancels the examinations due to public health restrictions at the time of exams, the country will enter Scenario 3. That means the evidence teachers and lecturers are gathering through normal in-year assessment to determine learners’ estimates can be used to form the basis of learners’ provisional results.

Fiona Robertson, SQA Chief Executive, and Scotland’s Chief Examining Officer said: 'Following the emergence of the Omicron variant, SQA has received questions from centres, parents, and learners about its plans for assessments. This follows the statement given by the First Minister last week.

'We have robust contingency plans in place that will support learners, parents, carers, teachers and lecturers over the coming months, and we are continuing to work closely with the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Education Recovery Group, and the National Qualifications 2022 (NQ22) Group which includes learner, parent and carer representatives, professional associations and education leaders.

'Everyone at SQA fully appreciates the efforts, expertise and commitment of teachers, lecturers and support staff at schools, colleges, and training providers at this extremely challenging time.'

Find more information about each of the scenarios.

Exceptional circumstances and appeals

Prior to the pandemic, when exams last took place, SQA’s results services supported learners who, for example, were unable to sit exams due to circumstances outwith their control in the run up to or on the day of their exam, or who received results that were not what they were expecting.

SQA is planning to have similar services in place for 2022, in recognition of the ongoing difficulties once again facing this year’s learners, most of whom will be sitting exams for the first time.

SQA is discussing these plans with key stakeholders such as parents, carers, learners, teachers and lecturers as well as members of the NQ22 Group and will confirm its position with schools, colleges, and training providers as soon as possible in the new year.

Further information on this year's awarding programme for National Qualifications.