Disclosure log

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

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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>

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