Physics appeals information 2023

Date published: 21/02/2023

FOI reference: 22/23 132

Date received: 23/01/2023

Date responded: 20/02/2023

Information requested

You want the information for Higher appeals broken down by subject for each school?

If available and >5 persons. I meant LA and independent school but all schools for Physics would be good. However, I appreciate 45 appeals and only 2 in ER means there must be a lot somewhere else and I think I read independent schools didn't have a lot of upgraded Physics appeals.

Appeals figures for more than five appeals in higher physics by school.

You want to know whether the 45 Higher Physics upgraded appeals were upgraded from a D?

Yes and how many went from B3 to A2

Were all 45 upgraded appeals upgraded from D and how many went B3 to A”

You want to know why Higher Physics appears to be out of alignment with the other subjects?

And from your previous email, you want to know if the pass mark for Higher Physics was reduced and any changes to the bandings?

I think I answered that one myself last night but if you can add more information, then that would be useful. –

And you have asked what is meant by accepted appeals? Yes

How many other children are sitting on 79 with a rejected appeal?

How many schools' prelim exam papers were considered inadequate and unsuitable for referencing against the actual Higher Physics?

Response

You want the information for Higher appeals broken down by subject for each school?

If available and >5 persons. I meant LA and independent school but all schools for Physics would be good. However, I appreciate 45 appeals and only 2 in ER means there must be a lot somewhere else and I think I read independent schools didn't have a lot of upgraded Physics appeals.

Appeals figures for more than five appeals in higher physics by school.

The information for the schools that received more than five appeals in Higher Physics is contained within the spreadsheet.

However, the information relating to the appeals specific to Woodfarm School is considered to be exempt under section 38(1)(b), which states:

38        Personal information

(1)        Information is exempt information if it constitutes—

(a) personal data of which the applicant is the data subject;

(b) personal data and the first, second or third condition is satisfied (see subsections

(2A) to (3A));

(c) personal census information; or

(d) a deceased person’s health record.

(2A)     The first condition is that the disclosure of the information to a member of the public

otherwise than under this Act—

(a) would contravene any of the data protection principles, or

(b) would do so if the exemptions in section 24(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018

(manual unstructured data held by public authorities) were disregarded.

(2B)     The second condition is that the disclosure of the information to a member of the

public otherwise than under this Act would contravene Article 21 of the (general

processing: right to object to processing).

(3A)     The third condition is that—

on a request under Article 15(1) of the (general processing: right of access by the data subject) for access to personal data, the information would be withheld in reliance on provision made by or under section 15, 16 or 26 of, or Schedule 2, 3 or 4 to, the Data Protection Act 2018, or

(b) on a request under section 45(1)(b) of that Act (law enforcement processing: right of access by the data subject), the information would be withheld in reliance on subsection (4) of that section.

The numbers of appeals for the subjects for a specific school are likely to be very low and as such the likelihood of being able to identify individuals, particularly as you are associated with the school. We have to ensure that we do not release information into the public domain that would be likely to identify individuals. Appeals information is considered to be personal information, so we are unable to provide the appeals numbers to that level of detail.

When applying a section 38(1)(b) exemption a public authority must apply the public interest test.

Information relating the appeals of other students may be of interest to some people, but it is not considered to be in the public interest. The appeals result of individual students is personal to those students and it is important that this is not placed in the public domain.

We have also considered whether you have a legitimate interest in receiving the information. Whilst you may have an interest in knowing the appeals information relating to other students, it is considered that due to the personal nature of the information, it is unlikely that you will have a legitimate interest in receiving this information.

Accordingly, the public interest in maintaining the information outweighs that of releasing the information.

You want to know whether the 45 Higher Physics upgraded appeals were upgraded from a D?

Eight appeals were upgraded from D

Yes and how many went from B3 to A2

Nine appeals went from B3 to A

You want to know why Higher Physics appears to be out of alignment with the other subjects?

All Appeals were dealt with in exactly the same way, regardless of course. Please see section 5.2 in the summary document for Appeals published 6 December 2022 https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/appeals-2022.pdf

The assessment requirements for each subject, as detailed in the course specifications, are very different. Some subjects, such as physics, have more emphasis on being able to apply knowledge and understanding, whereas other subjects have more of an emphasis on skills. That means that the evidence requirements for each subject can be very different.

However, the process for all appeals was the same. The evidence submitted for an appeal was allocated to an experienced examiner, who reviewed the evidence to determine what grade it demonstrated. Examiners were not told what grade a candidate had achieved in the exam nor what grade their centre had estimated.

A key consideration was the extent to which the evidence was valid. For the sciences, we had told centres that for evidence to be valid it must sample across the whole of the course content, have an appropriate balance of knowledge, skills and their application, the outcomes of the appeal, and provide sufficient opportunity to demonstrate grade A performance. The standard of marking was checked to establish the extent to which it was accurate and reflected the national standard. Issues identified with any or all of these things may be reasons why an appeal was unsuccessful.

Having considered all of the evidence submitted by a centre, the examiner then made a professional judgement about the level of attainment demonstrated by the candidate. Where the decision of the examiner was the same as or less than that attained in the exam, the candidate was awarded the grade achieved in the exam. Where the decision of the examiner resulted in a better grade, this was what the candidate was awarded as a result of the appeal. The examiner had no knowledge of the outcome of the appeal, and were not in a position to comment on the success or otherwise of the appeal.

And from your previous email, you want to know if the pass mark for Higher Physics was reduced and any changes to the bandings?

I think I answered that one myself last night but if you can add more information, then that would be useful.

The grade boundaries for Higher Physics were published in August 2022 https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/grade-boundaries-2022.xlsx

                        Maximum   Upper A   Grade A    Grade B    Grade C    Grade D

Marks                  120           100            80            65              50              35

Percentage          100           83.3          66.7          54.2           41.7           29.2

The table below summarises the grade A and grade A-C success rates in 2022 compared with 2019 and 2021.

               Proportion of grade A       Proportion of grades A-C

2019                     28.8%                                 75.0%

2021                     42.4%                                 80.8%

2022                     37.1%                                 78.0%

And you have asked what is meant by accepted appeals?

Accepted appeals were valid appeals.

How many other children are sitting on 79 with a rejected appeal? –

There were 38 candidates who achieved 79 in Higher Physics who appealed their grade. Of these, one was upgraded to an A.

Please note that our data was collected at specific times, therefore any changes after the dates listed will not have been included.

The candidate marks were taken from data as at 22 July 2022 and the appeals data was taken as at 01 November 2022.

How many schools' prelim exam papers were considered inadequate and unsuitable for referencing against the actual Higher Physics?

We are not able to provide this information, as it was agreed in advance of undertaking the Appeals service in 2022 between all partners in education, including head teachers, Union representatives, local authorities, learner & parent representatives and Scottish Government that no feedback would be provided to centres on the reasons for unsuccessful appeals. In practice, nothing was recorded by examiners on reasons for their judgements.

A key consideration was the extent to which the evidence was valid. For the sciences, we had told centres that for evidence to be valid it must sample across the whole of the course content, have an appropriate balance of knowledge, skills and their application, the outcomes of the appeal, and provide sufficient opportunity to demonstrate grade A performance. The standard of marking was checked to establish the extent to which it was accurate and reflected the national standard. Issues identified with any or all of these things may be reasons why an appeal was unsuccessful.

Documents:

files_ccc/foi-22-23-132-information-sheet-1.xlsx (14 KB)