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SQA News 6 June 2024

Literacy units - Removal of Specification 3 from reasonable adjustments in National Qualifications in Scotland

The Equality Act 2010 requires SQA to make sure that disabled learners and/or those with additional support needs are supported to show what they know and can do when accessing our qualifications. This includes, for example, providing blind learners with braille question papers or allowing deaf learners to use sign language in some exams.

The law is also clear that there are situations where we should not make adjustments to our qualifications. We call these ‘specifications’ and you can view them on our Section 96(7) Equality Act 2010 web page.

Specification 3 stated that in Literacy units (which are required in National 3 and 4 English courses), a learner could not be exempt from any of the four skills being assessed (reading, writing, listening and talking). It also stated that learners could not use human readers and scribes when being assessed on their reading and writing skills.

We’ve decided to remove Specification 3, based on feedback from our partners, including schools, colleges, and training providers. This means that disabled learners and/or those with an additional support need:

We encourage learners to continue discussing their needs with their school, college or training provider if they need support for the English Literacy Units.