Disclosure log

This log contains information SQA has released in response to freedom of information (FOI) requests.

For details of the information available from SQA, see our publication scheme.

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02/11/2020Entries for European Modern Languages from 2016 to date
<p>The number of students pursuing an SQA National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualification in a European Modern Language, including French, Italian, German and Spanish from 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 academic sessions</p><p>SQA only holds information relating to students who have been entered for SQA qualifications. We do not hold information about the number of students studying modern languages if they are not entered for an SQA qualification.</p> <p>The total numbers of students entered for SQA Nat 5, Higher and Advanced Higher in European Modern Languages is published on our website each year. The <a href="94723.html">2020 figures can be accessed here</a>. Select Attainment Statistics (August) 2020 Revised. Within this table the SCQF 5 tab is for Nat 5, SCQF 6 for Higher and SCQF 7 for Advanced Higher. The total entries for each subject are then listed.</p> <p>The <a href="57518.html">entries for the previous years can be accessed here</a>. Select the year required from the drop down menu. Then select the level of qualification required. The total entries for each subject are then listed.</p> <p>The entries for 2021 will be published on our website on results day in 2021.</p>
04/11/2020Review Response
<p>Request for review</p><p>Please find attached SQA's response to your request for review under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.</p>
03/11/2020Attainment Statistics
<p>Can I please have access to the attainment statistics data for all schools in Scotland for 2010-2019 for National 5 and Higher qualifications. I am happy to receive related data if this data I have requested is not available. I am also happy to receive less years of data if it is not possible to get data from 2010.</p><p>SQA publishes attainment data by centre type each year.  The information you have requested for all schools is published on our website and can be accessed <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/57518.8313.html">here</a>.    Select the year you require from the drop down menu.   Then for 2014-2019 select Attainment Statistics (August) Schools.   For the earlier years 2010-2013 select Pre-Appeal National Course and Awards Result Statistics – Schools.</p>
03/11/2020Grade Boundary Process
<p>I am writing to complain about the response to my FOI request. I had asked how the SQA had previously used information to calibrate results in previous years. In particular I was interested in how a pupils school or where they live impacted that calibration.</p> <p>The response I got denied that the pupils school or where they live impacted the calibration. However the response did not answer how and what information is used. Instead it simply included a link to an SQA document which essentially said that quantitative and qualitative data is used. This does not answer my request. What is the quantitative and qualitative data that is used?</p> <p>Additionally at one point the document says the process takes into account the impact on an individual but again does not detail what that is?</p> <p>The response is wholly unacceptable. Can the SQA please provide the detail I originally requested please?</p><p>Response</p> <p>SQA does not calibrate results.  And a pupil’s school or where they live has no impact on the Grade Boundary process.</p> <p>SQA has a responsibility to individual learners and to the wider community to ensure that the standard of our qualifications is set appropriately and maintained over time and across courses.  SQA provided you with information about the Grade Boundary process in response to your request to understand the methods that the SQA have used over the last decade to moderate exam results.  We provided you with the published information about the Grade Boundary process. </p> <p>SQA is responsible for writing the exam questions they are not responsible for how they are answered. SQA sets the exam questions each year and has expectations on how they will perform.   Grade boundaries are set in line with this intended demand of the assessment ie the accepted norm is that 70 and above would be an A Grade. If however the assessment did not function as intended, the grade boundaries are adjusted appropriately.   Grade Boundary meetings are for the moderation of the assessment demand.   They cover all subjects and all levels.   The 2019 Grade Boundary tables can be accessed <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/57518.8313.html">here</a>.   Select Grade Boundaries 2019 for a list of the marks for each grade boundary in 2019.  </p> <p>Course Reports are produced each year.   These are written up each year after the Awarding Meetings (details of these are provided in the document <a href="http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/A_Guide_to_Setting_Grade_Boundaries_v1.3.pdf">A Guide to Setting Grade Boundaries</a> which was provided in our previous response to you).  The Course Report provides information on the performance of the year’s cohort and is provided as a guide for those who may be preparing candidates for future assessments in this subject.  Here is a link to the <a href="http://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/2019N5CourseReportEnglish.pdf">Course Report</a> for National 5 English in 2019.   If you are interested in the Course Reports for other subjects here is a link to the <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/45625.html">National Qualifications</a> pages.  Select the subject and then the required level and the Course Report is listed on this page.</p> <p>You have also asked about the qualitative and quantitative data that is used.   This data allows the Awarding Meetings to judge whether the assessment has performed as expected.   And this is the qualitative and quantitative data referred to in the Guide to Setting Grade Boundaries.</p> <p>The range of qualitative information that the Awarding Meetings takes into consideration relates to:</p> <ul> <li>The setting of the assessment — was there any change in the team(s) involved in setting the question paper and/or coursework, has there been a change in course structure, components, the length of the examination, the maximum marks, the grade descriptors or intended demand of the assessment?</li> <li>The marking of the assessment — was there any change to how marking was carried out (for instance, a move to central marking)?</li> <li>Assessment performance — did questions and/or coursework tasks perform as planned?</li> </ul> <p>The range of quantitative information relates to the full cohort for that year.   The key point to note here is that no individual candidate or centre information is considered as part of this process.</p> <p>The key statistical information which SQA uses to judge assessment performance for each subject and level contains information such as the average mark nationally for each assessment component.   The 2019 Component Marks and National Mean Marks can be accessed <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/91418.html">here</a>.   The Awarding Meeting will also look at a statistical item analysis of the performance of each question. </p> <p>This combination of qualitative and quantitative data allows the Awarding Meetings to judge whether the assessment has performed as expected.</p>
03/11/2020Appeal Statistics 2020
<p>Can I request the appeal uphold rates by school and school area for the last decade for National 5s, Highers and Advanced Highers?</p><p>This is the first year that there have been appeals and as they are still in progress, there is no finalised data available as yet.  The Results Services Statistical Tables will be published in December as per our <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/48513.8316.html">Publication Schedule</a>.    Please note these tables are published by course.</p> <p>Since Curriculum for Excellence started in 2014 until 2019, centres could request a clerical check or review of marking through the post results service (PRS) and the statistics have been published for this and are available on the SQA website <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/57518.8313.html">here</a>.   Select the year required from the drop down menu.  Then select the Results Services Statistical Tables.</p> <p>From 2010 until 2013, there was an appeals service which was different to Post Results Service.  Again these tables are published on our website and can be accessed <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/57518.8313.html">here</a>.   Select the year required from the drop down menu.    Then select the National Qualifications Appeals Analysis.</p>
04/11/2020Ministerial Direction Correspondence
<p>Any information held regarding the consultation that allegedly took place between the Scottish Government and the SQA regarding the Ministerial direction issued to the SQA on the evening of 11 August 2020. This should include any communications between the Scottish Government and the SQA on this matter, any briefings produced or notes of relevant meetings, or any typed or hand written notes produced in relation to this consultation.</p><p>The information you have requested is provided in the attached file.</p>
05/11/2020Estimate Change Requests
<p>How many requests did the SQA receive from centres to change individual pupil estimates ahead of the deadline (i.e. total number of individual grade changes requested)? What percentage of all such requests were rejected?</p><p>SQA received 57 requests from centres before the 29 May deadline to change an estimated grade, of which 6 impacted the final estimated grade.</p>
16/11/2020Communications with OFQUAL
<p>Communications (including letters, emails, text messages and phone calls) between the SQA and OFQUAL regarding the awarding of qualifications in 2020. I would like this information from 03 August to 2020 to 30 August 2020.</p><p>The information you have requested is provided in the attached files. The correspondence has been redacted for personal details only.</p>
20/11/2020Attainment Statistics 2020
<p>I would like names of the three schools which had the three highest amount of Higher's increased from grade C to grade B and grade B to A in this years exams</p><p>The information you have requested is provided in the tables attached.</p>
20/11/2020National Progression Awards in Business
<p>I would like to know the following information in relation to the National Progression Awards in Business and IT being delivered in Secondary Schools Name of Awarding Centre (Secondary School) Number of Level 6 awards in 2020 Number of Level 6 awards in 2019 Number of Level 6 awards in 2018 Number of Level 5 awards in 2020 Number of Level 5 awards in 2019 Number of Level 5 awards in 2018</p><p>The information you have requested is provided in the attached file.  To ensure that we comply with our responsibilities under the Data Protection Act, where the figure is less than five, SQA does not report the actual figure to protect individuals’ personal information.  Where the number is smaller than five the figure has been replaced with an asterisk*.</p>
20/11/2020Attainment Statistics 2014-2019
<p>Number of students achieving 5As or more at Higher from maintained/state schools in the years: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.</p><p>The information you have requested is provided in the attached file.</p>
20/11/2020Appeal Statistics 2020
<p>Please can you tell me about post-results requests (by schools ) to alter in-school estimates. How many requests for individual candidates estimates to be changed i.e. not how many schools made a request, but how many candidates in total was a grade change request made in respect of nationally. What percentage of those requests were successful (i.e. what percentage of individual candidates estimates were changed as requested).</p><p>SQA will be publishing the requested information in the Appeals Tables 2020, which will be released on 01 December 2020.</p> <p>This publication will show, amongst other things, the total entries (by course) for which an appeal was received, the reason for the appeal and whether the appeal was accepted or rejected.</p> <p>Our publication schedule, which provides a forward look at planned SQA publications can be found here: <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/48513.8316.html">https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/48513.8316.html</a></p>
20/11/2020Attainment Statistics by Male and Female
<p>May I ask that these data be supplied under a FOI request to SQA as a public authority as an alternative please. My understanding is that this route removes the risk of people misunderstanding the information, in the way you set out, as a factor you need to consider.</p> <p> </p> <p>Specifically the request is for the SCQF level 6 Higher and SCQF level 7 Advanced Higher grade distributions by subject and sex, as reported here –</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/Attainment_Statistics_(August)_2020_Male.xls">https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/Attainment_Statistics_(August)_2020_Male.xls</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/Attainment_Statistics_(August)_2020_Female.xls">https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/Attainment_Statistics_(August)_2020_Female.xls</a></p> <p> </p> <p>but for the grade distribution resulting from the 4 August ACM process (that is, the distribution reported here for men and women in aggregate <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/Attainment_Statistics_(August)_2020.xls">https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/Attainment_Statistics_(August)_2020.xls)</a></p><p>A request for information under either of the Freedom of Information Acts in the UK is a request to put the information into the public domain where it can then be interpreted and used for any purpose.    SQA has a responsibility to ensure that any information about candidate attainment that is available in the public domain is accurate in terms of the grades awarded and certificated.</p> <p>SQA has published a summary analysis contained in the Equality Impact Assessment for the Alternative Certification Model published on 4 August  and this can be accessed at: <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/2020-sqa-alternative-certification-model-equality-impact-assessment.pdf">https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/2020-sqa-alternative-certification-model-equality-impact-assessment.pdf</a></p> <p>However as we have already indicated to you SQA has no plans to publish a breakdown of the ACM grades by sex in the format specified by you in your request for several reasons.  Firstly, to do so would result in inaccurate information about candidate achievement being deliberately published by SQA which would not be in the public interest.   Secondly, under the Alternative Certification Model the moderation was carried out without reference to  any personal characteristics of candidates. Therefore, to imply any causal effect was attributable to differences in sex would be inaccurate.   Thirdly, regardless of the awarding process used to generate the candidate achievement in 2020, the total number of awards made by sex for each subject was unaffected. </p>
27/11/2020Review Response
<p>Request for review</p><p>Please find attached SQA's response to your request for review under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.</p>
27/11/2020ACM Method for 2020 Awarding
<p>On page 13 of the recent report into the summer exams scandal, led by Prof Priestley, the authors note that: "SQA had clearly debated the pros and cons of releasing this information, and told us that the decision not to share more details about the implications of the model was based on a perceived need to avoid undue stress for students, parents/carers and teacher."</p> <p>The "information" being referred to relates to the ACM method developed by the SQA, in particular (but clearly not limited to) the possibility of "warning schools" about aspects of the system.</p> <p> Under FOISA, I would like you to release the following information:</p> <p>•           All communications (external and internal) in which the matter of releasing or not releasing the information in question is discussed</p> <p>•           Full details and documents (dates, attendees, minutes, personal notes etc) of all meetings at which this matter was discussed</p><p>In our review response to you on 07 October 2020 the reviewer stated that “I can confirm that there is nothing recorded which meets your request as no decision was taken to delay publication of the methodology for awarding grades and the Equality Impact Assessment”.  This is still the case and SQA does not hold any written information which meets your request.</p>
27/11/2020Scottish Stakeholder Research Programme
<p>In the SQA News publication in May 2020 the following information was provided:</p> <p> </p> <p>Ashbrook Research & Consultancy</p> <p>Every year, we ask Ashbrook to carry out a programme of research among our key stakeholders. Even though the current social distancing measures are proving a challenge to us all, we still need to ensure that you have the opportunity to share your views with us.</p> <p>This research will commence with employers and training providers over the next couple of weeks. We will carry out the school and college fieldwork in early June so that the research doesn’t clash with the 29 May deadline for submitting National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher estimates.</p> <p>Carrying out this research helps us to measure how we support you and identifies improvements that we can make. If you are contacted by one of the Ashbrook researchers and are able to take part in their short survey, we will be extremely grateful, as you will be helping to shape the way in which we continue to support you.</p> <p>Under FOISA I would like the SQA to release material relating to the research referred to above.</p> <p>Please provide:</p> <p>1.         The final report provided to the SQA</p> <p>2.         Any supporting material provided to the SQA if not also included in the report (for example, details of the question)</p> <p>3.         Any submissions to the research by the SQA if not also included in full in the report</p><p>The research referred to in your quote above from the SQA News Publication in May 2020 is part of our Scottish stakeholder research programme.   SQA has a contract to provide an ongoing programme of stakeholder research to inform the work that SQA carries out. This is awarded under the Scottish Government Marketing Services framework. All research companies on the framework are asked to tender for the contract as and when it comes up for renewal, in line with the framework rules.</p>
27/11/2020Scottish Stakeholder Research Programme
<p>In the SQA News publication in May 2020 the following information was provided:</p> <p>Ashbrook Research & Consultancy</p> <p>Every year, we ask Ashbrook to carry out a programme of research among our key stakeholders. Even though the current social distancing measures are proving a challenge to us all, we still need to ensure that you have the opportunity to share your views with us.</p> <p>This research will commence with employers and training providers over the next couple of weeks. We will carry out the school and college fieldwork in early June so that the research doesn’t clash with the 29 May deadline for submitting National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher estimates.</p> <p>Carrying out this research helps us to measure how we support you and identifies improvements that we can make. If you are contacted by one of the Ashbrook researchers and are able to take part in their short survey, we will be extremely grateful, as you will be helping to shape the way in which we continue to support you.</p> <p>Under FOISA I would like the SQA to release material relating to the research referred to above.</p> <p>Please provide all internal communications discussing the content of the report on the research detailed above.</p><p>The research referred to in your quote above from the SQA News Publication in May 2020 is part of our Scottish stakeholder research programme.   SQA has a contract to provide an ongoing programme of stakeholder research to inform the work that SQA carries out. This is awarded under the Scottish Government Marketing Services framework. All research companies on the framework are asked to tender for the contract as and when it comes up for renewal, in line with the framework rules.</p> <p>There are three tranches of research for this programme every year, of which the research mentioned above is the first of 2020. We ask a core set of questions which are asked in all three tranches. The report that covers these questions are only provided to SQA once all three tranches have been completed. This happens annually, and the report should be complete in February 2021.</p> <p>Since the final report has not yet been provided to SQA there is no internal communications discussing the content of this report.  Section 17 of FOISA provides that where an authority does not hold information requested then it should notify the requester to that effect.</p>
27/11/2020Stakeholder Research Finance
<p>I would like to request the following information under FOISA:</p> <p>1.         How much, in total, has the SQA spent on services from Ashbrook Research & Constultancy since 2001?</p> <p>2.         How much, in total, has the SQA spent on services from Ashbrook Research & Consultancy each year since 2001?</p><p>All information about SQA Procurement is available on our website and can be accessed <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/35865.html">here</a>.  SQA has a contract to provide an ongoing programme of stakeholder research. This is awarded under the Scottish Government Marketing Services framework. All research companies on the framework are asked to tender for the contract as and when it comes up for renewal, in line with the framework rules. The current version of the contract expires in March 2022, although SQA has an option to extend it for a further year.</p> <p>Ashbrook Research & Consultancy currently hold this contract and have carried out SQA’s stakeholder research under this and previous contracts.  The stakeholder research programme is longitudinal, so allowing SQA to track changes in views over time and to gather feedback from SQA’s stakeholder groups. In the past, a considerable focus for the programme was the introduction of Curriculum for Excellence. Ashbrook also carry out a range of smaller ad hoc pieces of research for SQA which are procured in line with public sector procurement policy.</p> <p>Research work is also recorded in SQA’s annual <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/39108.html">PSRA</a> submission to Scottish Government.</p> <p>The overall spend on services from Ashbrook Research & Consultancy since 2006 is £2,291,456.90.  SQA does not hold information from 2001 as you request.  This figure is broken down by year, below, as requested.</p> <p> </p> <p>2006 - £3,452.87</p> <p>2007 - £98,131.88</p> <p>2008 - £89,451.71</p> <p>2009 - £94,678.66</p> <p>2010 - £134,037.82</p> <p>2011 - £98,139.15</p> <p>2012 - £180,339.29</p> <p>2013 - £217,387.38</p> <p>2014 - £194,368.12</p> <p>2015 - £215,731.28</p> <p>2016 - £204,918.58</p> <p>2017 - £193,915.16</p> <p>2018 - £205,050.80</p> <p>2019 - £213,516.16</p> <p>2020 - £148,338.04</p>
27/11/20202021 Higher and Advanced Higher Examinations
<p>The Scottish Government recently announced that National 5 examinations would not go ahead in 2021 but that Higher and Advanced Higher exams are currently being planned for. Clearly - and as admitted by politicians - there is a significant risk of ongoing disruption to education through the winter months, and as such I would like to request material regarding contingency planning.</p> <p> </p> <p>Please release the following under FOISA:</p> <p>1.         All materials detailing plans to deal with different eventualities regarding the 2021 Higher and Advanced Higher exams</p> <p>2.         Details of any meetings at which such plans were discussed (this includes dates, attendees, minutes, personal notes etc)</p><p>Please see the attached paper regarding National Qualifications for Academic Year 2020/21.</p> <p> </p> <p>This paper was presented and discussed at the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group Meeting on 31 July 2020.The Scottish Government has published information about the COVID-19 Education Recovery Group on their website.The minutes from the meeting on 31 July 2020 and all other minutes from the meetings of this group can be accessed <a href="https://www.gov.scot/groups/covid-19-education-recovery-group/">here</a> along with a list of members of the group.</p>
03/12/2020Audit Committee Minutes
<p>As I’ve not had a response to my chasing emails on the following, please accept this email as a fresh FOI request for copies of the minutes of the SQA Audit Committee meetings from May 2017 until the date of this request.</p><p>The minutes of the SQA Audit Committee meetings from May 2017 to date have now been published on our website and can be accessed at the following web address</p> <p><a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/96018.html">https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/96018.html</a></p>
08/12/2020IT Strategy
<p>I wish to submit a request for some of the organisation’s information around the internal plans and strategy documents around ICT. The ICT documents I require is the most recent update.I wish to obtain the following documents:</p> <p>1. ICT/IM&T/IS Strategy- The IT department strategy or plans, highlights their current and future objectives.</p> <p>2. ICT Org Chart- A visual document that presents the structure of the IT department, please include name and job titles. If this cannot be sent, please work towards a structure with job titles.</p> <p>3. ICT Annual or Business Plan- Like the ICT strategy but is more annually focused.</p> <p>4. ICT Capital Programme/budget- A document that shows financials budget on current and future projects.</p> <p>If some of these documents are not valid, please state when the 2020 ICT documents are planned to be published.</p><p>The information you have requested is provided in the attached file.</p>
10/12/2020National Attainment Statistics
<p>Following from last year’s exams and the number of issues after, I am requesting statistics of those who passed at N5, Higher and Advance Higher level. The time periods I’m looking for academic year 2018/19 in comparison with 2019/20 results.</p><p>The information you have requested is published on our website and can be accessed at the following link</p> <p><a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/64717.html">https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/64717.html</a></p> <p>Select the file Attainment Statistics (December) 2020.   Within this spreadsheet the tab SCQF 5 covers National 5 attainment, SCQF 6 covers Higher and SCQF 7 covers Advanced Higher.   For each level the attainment from 2019 and 2020 are shown side by side for comparison.</p>
15/12/2020IT Systems
<p>Please release the following information under FOISA:</p> <p>•   Which systems provided by the SQA currently require users to install Adobe Flash on their device? This may include materials for candidates, markers, SQA staff etc.</p> <p>•   By which date will each of these systems be updated so that Flash is no longer required for their use? (if no date has been set then please make this clear)</p><p>SQA has appropriate plans in place to manage our various systems.  It is our view that publicly confirming details of any plans could introduce an additional risk, and potentially compromise the security of services delivered.  We therefore apply section 35(1)(a) to your request. Section 35 is a qualified exemption so we have considered the public interest but we believe that on this occasion the risk to data outweighs the public interest in transparency about the systems SQA uses.</p>
15/12/2020SQA Certificates
<p>I was looking into the topic of SQA certificates</p> <p>1  How many students sat exams in 2019?<br /> 2  How many students sat exams in 2018?<br /> 3  How many students sat exams in 2017?<br /> 4  I would like to know the number of SQA certificates that have been reported as delivered in 2019?<br /> 5  I would like to know the number of SQA certificates that have been reported as delivered in 2020?<br /> 6  The number of enquiries about replacement certificates in 2019 and 2020?<br /> 7  How much money has the SQA made from replacement certificate orders in 2019?<br /> 8  How much money has the SQA made from replacement certificate orders in 2020 so far?</p><p>1.  How many students sat exams in 2019?   SQA publishes entries and attainment by subject and level on our website and individual candidates can be entered for several subjects.  The figure provided covers the number of candidate certificates produced. This figure is for National Qualifications only and includes non-exam-based certification - 135,212</p> <p>2  How many students sat exams in 2018?   As above the figure provided covers the number of candidate certificates produced.  This figure is for National Qualifications only and includes non-exam-based certification - 136,102</p> <p>3  How many students sat exams in 2017?   As above the figure provided covers the number of candidate certificates produced.  This figure is for National Qualifications only and includes non-exam-based certification - 138,355</p> <p>4 and 5  I would like to know the number of SQA certificates that have been reported as delivered in 2019 and 2020?  All certificates are sent out via 1st or 2nd class via Royal Mail but we have no functionality to report how many are actually delivered.   Section 17 of FOISA provides that where an authority does not hold information requested then it should notify the requester to that effect.</p> <p>6  The number of enquiries about replacement certificates in 2019 and 2020?  SQA offers a replacement certificate service.   Information about this service can be obtained <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/64808.html">here</a>.  This service covers replacement certificates, credit value statements and authentication of certificates and qualifications.   Enquiries to this service can be for qualifications gained from 1960 onwards where certificates have been lost or misplaced by the candidate eg when moving house or returning to work after a prolonged absence.   Please note the figures given below cover all aspects of this service as we have no way of separating out requests for credit value statements and authentications from replacement certificates.</p> <p>In 2019 we had 7617 enquiries to the service</p> <p>In 2020 we have had 4687 enquiries (up to 07 December) – please note this figure for 2020 is lower than normal as SQA was unable to offer this service between the end of March and July due to the COVID 19 pandemic.</p> <p>7 and 8  How much money has the SQA made from replacement certificate orders in 2019 and 2020 to date?  The annual income from the replacement certificate service is reported annually in our Annual Report and Accounts which is subject to External Audit. Given the timing of your request we have included income received for the financial year 2020-21 covering the period from 1 April to 7 December 2020.</p> <p>Year ended 31 March 2020 - £265,000</p> <p>For financial year 20/21 to date (up to O7 December)  - £67,709</p>
15/12/2020Statistics by Education Authority
<p>I would like to know the number of secondary schools in each of the 32 Local Authorities that deliver the following subjects (I appreciate this is often delivered in partnership with local further education colleges/organisations, I am looking for the number of schools even where one college/organisation is associated with more than one school) for the school years 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21: Agriculture SCQF level 6 Countryside Management SCQF level 5 Greenkeeping SCQF level 5 Introduction to Horticulture SCQF level 4 Horticulture SCQF level 5 Rural Skills SCQF level 4 Angling and the Aquatic Environment SCQF level 3 Aquaculture SCQF level 4 Aquaculture SCQF level 5 Beekeeping SCQF level 5 Crofting SCQF level 5 Fish Husbandry & Fish Health and Nutrition SCQF level 5 Horticulture SCQF level 4 Investigation of Modern Agriculture SCQF level 5 Local Food Production SCQF level 6 Rural Skills SCQF level 5 Skills for Work: Rural Skills (National 4) SCQF level 4 Skills for Work: Engineering Skills (National 4) SCQF level 4 Skills for Work: Engineering Skills (National 5) SCQF level 5.</p><p>The information you have requested is provided in the attached file.  SQA does not hold data on school/college partnerships so the information provided relates only to the centre that entered a candidate.</p>
15/12/2020Published PSRA Information
<p>I am looking for some assistance with your organisation’s Spend/Transparency data, available on the following weblink:</p> <p><a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/78634.html">https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/78634.html</a></p> <p>There appears to be no file available for the month of October 2019 to September 2020. Could you advise when the file will be made available to view online? Would it be possible for you to email me a copy of the October 2019 to September 2020 file please and thank you.</p><p>The link you have provided above is for the PSRA information for 2015/16 only.   SQA reports PSRA as required supplementary information with the Annual Report and Accounts . PSRA information is therefore collected and reported for the same period and published at the same time as the Annual Report and Accounts.  The period specified in your request straddles two PSRA periods from Oct 2019 to March 2020 which has been published in the 2019/20 figures which can be accessed at the following weblink</p> <p><a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/39108.8273.html">https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/39108.8273.html</a></p> <p>The information from April to Sept 2020 will be included in the PSRA information for 2020/21, which has not yet been collated or published. </p>
15/12/2020IT/Information security
<p>Please can you confirm the person responsible for IT/Information Security. Different organisations have different job titles for this responsibility, I’ve listed below the possible job titles:</p> <p>Manager or Head for IT, Cyber, Information Security, IT Security, Information Governance</p> <p>or</p> <p>CIO (Chief Information Officer)</p> <p>or</p> <p>CISO (Chief Information Security Officer)</p> <p>Please can you provide name, job title, email, direct phone number/mobile number.</p><p>The person in SQA responsible for IT Security is the IT Security Manager.   For all enquiries to SQA our contact details – telephone 0345 279 1000, email <a href="mailto:customer@sqa.org.uk">customer@sqa.org.uk</a> or complete our online <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/77338.html?id=1">Customer enquiry form </a>- are available on our website and can also be accessed at the following link</p> <p><a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/39083.html">https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/39083.html</a></p>
18/12/2020Foundation Apprenticeships
<p>All correspondence or documentation (including emails, attachments, typed or handwritten notes, letters, notes/records of phone calls, texts or instant messages, minutes of meetings, briefings or otherwise) between SQA and Skills Development Scotland that relates to the planned arrangements for the awarding of Foundation Apprenticeships or the proposed  'letter of recognition', as announced on 22 May 2020.</p> <p>If possible I would like this information from 20 March 2020 to 22 May 2020.</p><p>The information you have requested is provided in the attached files.  Some of this has been redacted for personal data and in some cases where the emails provided contain information not relevant to your request.</p>
18/12/20202020 Awarding
<p>1. All briefing notes, meetings, minutes, memos, emails and written notes regarding meetings between any Cabinet Secretary, minister, advisor or representative of the Scottish and the Scottish Qualifications Authority regarding the marking and grading methodology for the 2020 Scottish National 4, National 5 and Higher qualifications.</p> <p>2. All briefing notes, meetings, minutes, memos, emails and written notes regarding meetings between any Cabinet Secretary, minister, advisor or representative of the Scottish and the Scottish Qualifications Authority between July 31, 2020, and August 7, 2020, both dates inclusive.</p> <p>3. Any written information regarding the marking and grading methodology for the 2020 Scottish National 4, National 5 and Higher qualifications.</p><p>1.  SQA has provided the correspondence between the Deputy First Minister and SQA Chief Executive Fiona Robertson in the attached file – titled Q1.  The letters have been redacted for personal data.</p> <p>2.  The information you have requested is provided in the attached files – titled Q2.   These files have been redacted for personal data.</p> <p>3.  SQA has published the National Qualifications 2020 Awarding — Methodology Report which can be accessed <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/SQAAwardingMethodology2020Report.pdf">here</a>.</p>
18/12/2020NQ Examinations 2020
<p>Please could you provide me with details of advice and guidance issued to the Cabinet Secretary for Education regarding the staging and timing of National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher examinations for 2020.</p><p>The information you have requested is provided in the attached files.</p>
18/12/2020Attainment Statistics
<p>I would like to have annual progression statistics for higher to advanced higher maths. These are available on your website by grade but I would like to have them further broken down by band.</p><p>As you mention in your request SQA publishes grade to grade progression statistics and these tables can be accessed on our website <a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/91419.html">here</a>.   SQA does not hold the information in the format specified by you and to produce the summary information by band requested by you would incur costs exceeding £600.  This cost is based on the work required to write the programming code to interrogate the raw data and this work would have to be carried out regardless of the number of subjects requested.   Section 12 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 provides that where the costs exceed £600 a public body is not required to produce the summary requested.  Please see Decision 201800816 on 28 August 2018 (Band-to-Grade progression data) on the Scottish Information Commissioner’s website for a detailed breakdown of the costs involved.   In his decision the Commissioner was satisfied that the work involved in providing the statistical information in the band format as you have requested would exceed the £600 cost ceiling and that it is not reasonably practicable for SQA to provide you with the summary requested.</p>
18/12/2020Gaelic Language Plan
<p>1  I am writing to request you provide me with an electronic copy of your organisation's Gaelic Language Plan under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.  If this is available online, please could you provide me with a static URL directing me to this plan.  </p> <p>2  I also request you provide me with electronic copies of any periodical reports about your plan which you may have submitted to the Bòrd na Gàidhlig since the approval of your plan.</p><p>1  SQA’s Gaelic Language Plan is published on our website and can be accessed at the following link</p> <p><a href="https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/GLP%202015-2020%20Final%20for%20Publication.pdf">https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/files_ccc/GLP%202015-2020%20Final%20for%20Publication.pdf</a></p> <p>2  SQA has provided the monitoring reports from 2018 and 2019 which relate to this plan in the attached file.   The 2020 monitoring report will be sent to Bòrd na Gàidhlig at the end of January 2021.</p>
24/12/2020ACM Costs
<p>In 2020 the exams did not go ahead due to the coronavirus pandemic and they were replaced with the alternative certificate model (ACM). I’m looking to understand how much the ACM cost and how that compared to the costs SQA would have incurred if it had run a traditional exam diet.</p> <p> Therefore could you please:</p> <p> -            Outline how much the 2020 exam diet was expected to cost (before the exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic)– breaking this figure down into the key costs the SQA expected to incur, including the money it expected to spend on markers and invigilators?</p> <p>-             How much of these costs were covered by the fees schools and colleges pay for their pupils and students to sit SQA qualifications?</p> <p>-             Please then outline how much was spent on the alternative certification model – breaking this figure down into the key costs?</p> <p>-             The final stage of the alternative certification model – the appeals process – did not go ahead. How many appeals was the SQA geared up to receive, and how much was this final stage of the ACM expected to cost?</p> <p>-             How many appeals did the SQA receive in the end (please breakdown into the three categories of appeal that were available) and how much did the SQA actually spend?</p> <p>-             In total how much did the alternative certification model cost? Was this more or less than the traditional exam diet was expected to cost?</p> <p>-             If the ACM cost less, what happened to the money SQA saved?</p> <p>-             How much does the SQA expect it will cost to certificate school qualifications in 2020-21 – is this more or less than it would expect a traditional exam diet to cost? By how much?</p> <p>-             If it is more please state the key reason for the increase in cost; if it is less please state the key reasons for the decrease in costs.</p><p><a class="downloadPdf" href="files_ccc/foi-161-response.pdf">FOI 161 Response</a> (144 KB)</p>
14/01/2021Log of Contacts - SQA and Education Secretary
<p>Please provide details of all contact between the Education Secretary, John Swinney, or his officials or special advisers and Chief Executive of the SQA, Fiona Robertson, or other SQA staff or board members between 19 March and 11 August 2020</p><p>A log of all diarised contact between SQA’s Executive Management Team, Board and Heads of Service and the Education Secretary, John Swinney, his officials and special advisers is provided in the attached file.  Note there are 4 tabs to break down attendance at the key meetings, of which SQA and John Swinney or his officials, are represented.  These are the Further and Higher Education Covid-19 Ministerial Leadership Group (MLG), Covid-19 Education Recovery Group (CERG) and Qualifications Contingency Group (QCG).</p> <p>In addition to the dates provided, colleagues from the Scottish Government’s Learning Directorate, Advanced Learning and Science Directorate, and SQA met virtually on a regular basis, throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic. Due to an administrative change, SQA no longer holds a record of many of these meetings between April and June.</p>
15/01/2021Annual Fraud Report
<p>Please can I have a copy of the SQA's 2019-20 Annual Fraud Report.</p><p>The Annual Fraud Report 2019-20 presented to the Audit Committee on 1 June 2020 you requested is provided in the attached file.</p>
15/01/2021Fraud Outcome
<p>In the minutes of the SQA audit committee of October, 2019 it makes reference to a Fraud Response Group investigation into an instance of financial irregularity. Please can you provide me with a copy of any reports which relate to the outcome of this investigation and any 'lessons learned' reports from the instance.</p><p>As reported in our Annual Fraud Report of 2019-20 and already supplied to you the outcome of the investigation is recorded as follows:</p> <p>The first instance was of a member of staff, immediately prior to leaving SQA employment, making personal use of a hotel booking (which was no longer required for business purposes) and charging it to an SQA credit card. </p> <p>The former member of staff agreed to pay back the full amount of the cost - £2,069 - to SQA.  This was due to have been repaid in full by 31 March 2020.  It was agreed between the former member of staff and SQA that the repayments would be made in monthly instalments. </p> <p>SQA agreed to extend the deadline for the final payment (of £469) as the former member of staff was temporarily unable to pay due to a change in circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 situation.</p> <p>Lessons learnt from this investigation - Amend the leaver process to include credit card check if appropriate.  On an ongoing basis the Audit Committee monitors the progress of any fraud investigations.</p>
15/01/2021Attainment Statistics - December
<p>1. I am looking to assatain the number of candidates Achieving 5A+ Highers at band 1in any single year in Education Authority Schools over the years 2014 to 2019.</p> <p>2. I am looking to assatain the number of candidates Achieving 3A+ Advanced Highers in any single year in Education Authority Schools over the years 2014 to 2019.</p><p>The information you have requested is provided in the attached files.  To ensure that we comply with our responsibilities under the Data Protection Act, where the figure is less than 5, SQA does not report the actual figure to protect individuals’ personal information.  Where the number is less than 5 the figure has been replaced with an asterisk*.</p>

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