Supporting learners as Covid disruption continues

13 January 2022

As the new term progresses, SQA is acutely aware of the impact the pandemic continues to have on learning and teaching as well as on learners’ experience of working towards National Qualifications in 2021-22.

SQA Exams

It is still the clear intention for the 2022 SQA exams to take place in April – June. Exams will only be cancelled by the Scottish Government if public health advice restricts physical gatherings at the time of the exams. SQA is closely monitoring the educational impact of the pandemic with its partners on the Covid-19 Education Recovery Group so that as much support as possible can be provided for learners, most of whom will be sitting exams for the first time.

Clear contingency measures and plans, to deal with the kind of disruption currently being experienced, have been in place since the start of the 2021-22 session, and communicated to schools, colleges, training providers, learners, parents and carers.

In August 2021, SQA published significant modifications for each course which mean less assessment than in a ‘normal’ exam year and more time for learning and teaching.

These modifications already play a significant part in supporting learners who are studying National Qualifications this year.

Revision support for learners

SQA is actively monitoring levels of disruption across the country, including levels of learner and staff absence. If significant levels of disruption continue, they will soon move to what has been referred to in previous communications as Scenario 2, which means supporting learners with their final revision in the immediate run-up to the exams.

In this scenario, revision support, for example guidance on topics, will be provided to help learners maximise their exam performance and reduce exam stress. There will not be any further changes to courses or course assessments, over and above those already in place through the existing modifications.

Director of Qualifications Development, Gill Stewart said, ‘If we move to Scenario 2, revision support will be issued in March for most courses, to allow as much time as possible for learning and teaching. The type of revision support will differ across courses, depending on the assessment approach and the modifications made at the start of the session. We will provide more information as soon as these are finalised.

‘We know that schools, colleges, training providers, learners, parents and carers will have questions and we are doing our best to answer these. Please be assured that we will continue to work with partners and listen to colleagues working in schools, colleges and training providers to help support learners, parents/carers and teaching professionals as we progress towards the 2022 exam diet.’