Title/Summary

Appeals 2021 - learners

All learners will have the right to appeal their provisional result.

FAQs

Who can appeal?

All learners can appeal. The decision to appeal is yours.

Your teacher or lecturer will support your decision and give you the information you need to make decisions in your best interests.

Your school, college or training provider cannot stop an appeal request, but if you prefer you can ask your teacher or lecturer to register an appeal for you.

What will it cost to appeal?

The appeals service is free of charge.

When will I be able to appeal my grade/grades?

You can register that you want to appeal direct to SQA from Friday 25 June. The service will be open until Thursday 12 August.

If you are awaiting a result for a university or college place or for an employment or training programme, your appeal will be processed as a priority and you must register that you want to appeal by Thursday 12 August.

If you need to, or prefer to, you can ask a parent or carer to register for you.

What can I appeal?

The appeals service allows you to appeal against the grade awarded - A, B, C, D or No Award.

Every year there are a handful of learners who have a very specific band requirement - 1 to 9 - to meet the entry requirements for higher education entry, usually a requirement for a band 1. If you are in this position, SQA will allow a band to be appealed. This is the only circumstance in which a band can be appealed.

What information will I need for an appeal?

When you register that you want to appeal, you will need to provide SQA with your name, date of birth, Scottish Candidate Number and the subject and level of the course that you want to register an appeal for - for example English at National 5.

We will ask if you have a conditional university or college place, or an employment or training programme. If you do, this means that you have a priority appeal, and it will be processed by Wednesday 8 September to meet Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) and employment/training timescales. You must register for a priority appeal by Thursday 12 August.

We will also ask you to tell us the type of appeal that you want to use from one of the following:

- an appeal against the academic judgement made - for example, you will ask SQA to review the evidence that your teacher or lecturer used to determine your provisional result for Higher Chemistry

- an appeal against an unresolved administrative error - where you think an error needs to be corrected in how your result was entered into SQA's system, but your school, college or training provider disagrees, or you think SQA has made an error when processing your results, and you want SQA to look into it for you.

- an appeal on grounds of discrimination where:

a) there has been a breach of the Equality Act 2010 (which must have been either acknowledged by your school, college or training provider or established by a court or the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman).

  • if one of these things has happened, then SQA would review all the information available and decide if the appeal can go ahead. If it can go ahead, SQA would work with your school, college or training provider to agree the best way of making sure you are awarded your qualifications in a fair way.
  • It is important to note that SQA cannot investigate a claim of discrimination at your school, college or training provider and decide whether it occurred or not. What SQA can do is ensure you are certificated fairly, so any claim of discrimination must be a settled matter before you can appeal on this ground.

b) your school, college or training provider failed to provide agreed Assessment Arrangements. For example they had agreed to give you extra time to complete exam-type tests or provide you with easy-to-read materials, but these things were not provided. SQA would speak to your school, college or training provider to find out what happened and agree the best way of making sure you are awarded your qualifications in a fair way. All appeals relating to Assessment Arrangements must relate to those previously agreed with your school, college or training provider.

Will I be able to appeal my provisional results?

Yes

As part of the alternative certification model, your teacher or lecturer will be discussing your progress over the course of the year and, before the summer break, will tell you what your provisional results are, based on the assessments you have completed. SQA will not change these results.

Your school, college or training provider must either talk to you or write to you to:

  • confirm how your provisional results were determined
  • discuss the assessment evidence that was used to support your teacher or lecturer's provisional result
  • explain the quality checks they have used - both locally, and nationally - to make sure the provisional results you have been awarded have been assessed fairly, and in line with the national standard.

If, after that conversation, you are still unhappy, you can register that you want to appeal direct to SQA from Friday 25 June. The service will be open until Thursday 12 August.

Your school, college or training provider cannot stop an appeal request, but if you prefer you can ask your teacher or lecturer to register an appeal for you.

Will I be able to appeal to SQA myself, or will it need to be done by my school/college/training provider?

You can register that you want to appeal direct to SQA from Friday 25 June. The service will be open until Thursday 12 August.

If you are awaiting a result for a university or college place or for an employment or training programme, your appeal will be processed as a priority and you must register that you want to appeal by Thursday 12 August.

If you need to, or prefer to, you can ask a parent or carer to register for you. Your school, college or training provider cannot stop an appeal request, but if you prefer you can ask your teacher or lecturer to register an appeal for you.

On what conditions will I be able to appeal?

When you register that you want to appeal, you will need to tell us what type of appeal you want to make, from one of the following:

  1. an appeal against the academic judgement made - for example, you will ask SQA to review the evidence that your teacher or lecturer used to determine your provisional result in Higher Chemistry

  2. an appeal against an unresolved administrative error - where you think an error needs to be corrected in how your result was entered into SQA's system, but your school, college or training provider disagrees, or you think SQA has made an error when processing your results, and you want SQA to look into it for you.

  3. an appeal on grounds of discrimination where:

a) there has been a breach of the Equality Act 2010 (which must have been either acknowledged by your school, college or training provider or established by a court or the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman) -

  • if one of these things has happened, then SQA would review all the information available and decide if the appeal can go ahead. If it can go ahead, SQA would work with your school, college or training provider to agree the best way of making sure you are awarded your qualifications in a fair way.
  • It is important to note that SQA cannot investigate a claim of discrimination at your school, college or training provider and decide whether it occurred or not. What SQA can do is ensure you are certificated fairly, so any claim of discrimination must be a settled matter before you can appeal on this ground.

b) your school, college or training provider failed to provide agreed Assessment Arrangements - for example they had agreed to give you extra time to complete exam-type tests or provide you with easy-to-read materials, but these things were not provided. SQA would speak to your school, college or training provider to find out what happened and agree the best way of making sure you are awarded your qualifications in a fair way. All appeals relating to Assessment Arrangements must relate to those previously agreed with your school, college or training provider.

Is there a limit to how many results I can appeal?

No - you can appeal the results for any of the courses that you are entered for this year, at National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher.

I did not request an appeal in June or July, can I still request an appeal in August?

Yes - you can register that you want to appeal direct to SQA until Thursday 12 August.

If you are awaiting a result for a university or college place or for an employment or training programme, your appeal will be processed as a priority and you must register that you want to appeal by Thursday 12 August.

If you need to, or prefer to, you can ask a parent or carer to register for you.

After that, you can ask your teacher or lecturer to submit a priority appeal for you until Tuesday 24 August. If you do not need to use the priority service, you can still ask your teacher or lecturer to submit an appeal to SQA for you. They will be able to do this until Friday 27 August.

Your school, college or training provider cannot stop an appeal request, but if you prefer you can ask your teacher or lecturer to register an appeal for you.

Can my grade change if I appeal?

All the evidence that was used to determine your provisional result will be provided to SQA by your school, college or training provider - you will not need to submit any assessment evidence.

When your assessment evidence is received, it will be reviewed by SQA against the required national standard for the course.

Like your result, your appeal will be based on the evidence of your knowledge, understanding and skills in a course against the national standard. This is necessary to make sure that a grade A in the north of Scotland is worth the same as a grade A in the south of Scotland and everywhere in between.

This means that your grade could go up, go down or stay the same. This is consistent with what SQA does every year and makes sure that decisions are based on evidence.

What do I need to do once an appeal has been submitted?

If you are appealing against the academic judgement made:

All the materials that were used to determine your provisional result will be provided to SQA by your school, college or training provider. You will not need to submit any assessment evidence.

If you are appealing against an unresolved administrative error or are appealing on the grounds of discrimination:

As part of your appeal registration, you will be asked to provide a short, written explanation of what you believe has happened. If you need to, or prefer to, you can ask a parent or carer to help you.

For an appeal on the grounds of discrimination contrary to the Equality Act 2010, there must be an acknowledged breach of the Equality Act either by your school, college or training provider or established by a court or the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. If you feel you need support to have a conversation with your school, college or training provider about this, you can ask a parent/carer or representative to speak on your behalf.

Alternatively, you or your parent/carer or representative could contact Enquire, the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning. Enquire can offer advice and information to school pupils and their parents or carers about how to appeal. Enquire / 0345 123 2303.

Reach is part of Enquire and offers accessible advice about a learner's right to be supported and involved in decisions about their education.

There is also My Rights, My Say - a partnership including Enquire, Partners in Advocacy, and Children in Scotland. It supports children in Scotland aged 12-15 with additional support needs to exercise their rights to be involved in decisions about their support in school.

What happens once my appeal is submitted?

If you are appealing against the academic judgement made:

When your assessment evidence is received, it will be reviewed by SQA against the required national standard for the course.

Like your result, your appeal will be based on the evidence of your knowledge and skills in a course against the national standard. This is necessary to make sure that a grade A in the north of Scotland is worth the same as a grade A in the south of Scotland and everywhere in between.

This means that your grade could go up, go down or stay the same. This is consistent with what SQA does every year and makes sure that decisions are based on evidence.

If you are appealing against an unresolved administrative error or are appealing on the grounds of discrimination:

SQA will review the submission in discussion with your school, college or training provider.

Will my place at college/university/work be affected by an appeal?

If you are awaiting a result for a university or college place or for an employment or training programme, your appeal will be processed as a priority, and you must register that you want to appeal by Thursday 12 August. After that, you can ask your teacher or lecturer to submit a priority appeal for you until Tuesday 24 August.

Once your appeal has been completed, SQA will inform your school, college or training provider of the outcome. If you have a priority appeal, it will be processed by Wednesday 8 September, to meet Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) and employment/training timescales.

When will I find out the result of my appeal?

Once your appeal has been completed, SQA will inform your school, college or training provider and they will tell you the outcome.

If you have a priority appeal, it will be processed by Wednesday 8 September, to meet Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) and employment/training timescales.

If there has been a change to any of your grades, SQA will issue you with a replacement certificate later in the year.

What do I do if I want information about appeals in another language?

Our Learner Booklet about appeals can be produced, on request, in alternative formats, including large type, Braille and numerous community languages. For further details telephone SQA's Customer Contact Centre on 0845 279 1000.

How do I withdraw an appeal?

If you'd like to withdraw an appeal you need to provide details of the subject/level that you want to withdraw. You can do this using the following form: Withdraw appeal.

I haven't received an email confirmation for my appeal registration - what do I do?

Please check the spam folder in your email. If, after checking your spam folder, you do not have a confirmation, we can look into this for you. Contact us using the following form: Appeal enquiry: No email confirmation.

I have received an email saying my appeals submission is invalid - what do I do?

If you receive a message saying that your submission is invalid, you need to confirm your subject/level information with us so that we can fix the problem. To do this, please complete our Invalid submission form.

I have downloaded a PDF of my appeal submission for Administrative Error or Discrimination but the reason for appeal has not been included in the download - what should I do?

This is a technical problem with the appeals registration service. It only affects the Adobe PDF download. Please be assured, SQA has received the information you have submitted about the reason for your appeal.

How do I add supporting information to my academic judgement appeal to explain what's happened to me?

Academic judgement appeals involve SQA reviewing the demonstrated evidence of attainment against the required standards, to ensure that the grade awarded is appropriate. Once your appeal has been completed, SQA will inform your school, college or training provider and they will tell you the outcome.

As this type of appeal is based purely on assessment evidence, SQA are unable to accept information on personal circumstances as part of the appeal process. Your teacher or lecturer will have considered relevant circumstances, during the year and the assessment period, when making their professional judgement on your attainment. Any issues you have around the academic judgement that relate to your own circumstances must be picked up with your school, college or training provider. If your learning establishment is closed for the summer, you should discuss this with them when they re-open, before the appeals service closes.

We know this has been a hugely challenging year for learners, their parents and carers, teachers and lecturers. We have provided some learner support and resources that may be helpful to you.