Phoneline and new appeals service as SQA results day approaches

Helpline and appeals support for pupils

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Following a year of disrupted learning and an unprecedented assessment process, school pupils will receive their qualification grades on Tuesday August 10.

As a result of the disruption caused by the Covid pandemic and the cancellation of exams, an alternative certification model was developed to decide National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher results this year with teachers tasked with grading their pupils.

Argyll and Bute Council’s policy lead for education Councillor Yvonne McNeilly said: ‘For the second year in a row, young people have been unable to sit their exams and teachers have had to work closely with the SQA to assess pupils’ work.

‘Despite these challenges, our children and young people have taken lockdown life in their stride. Their ability to adapt and overcome in and out of school has been phenomenal and inspiring.’

Amid the uncertainty for pupils and parents, a results helpline has been set up and will open at 8am on Tuesday to offer advice on options and opportunities. The number to call is 0808 100 8000.

The Skills Development Scotland results helpline gives young people the chance to discuss options and next steps including vacancies at UK universities and colleges, clearing, apprenticeships, jobs and volunteering.

Oban-based careers adviser Zoe Fletcher has volunteered to be part of the helpline. She said: ‘This has been a year like no other for young people and it is important to reassure them there are options and opportunities for them. It’s important to let them know that whatever their results might be, we can help.’

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: ‘The free helpline offers young people an excellent source of advice and guidance and I’d appeal to learners who have questions about their next steps to use this valuable resource. Whether it’s practical advice about options, or reassurance following SQA results, the advisers are ready to help.’

A free appeals service is also available directly to learners for the first time and is seen as the fifth and final stage of the alternative certification model.

The grounds for appeal include an appeal against the academic judgement made, an appeal against an unresolved administrative error and an appeal on grounds of discrimination.

Pupils can register to appeal directly on the SQA website: www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/98202.html

Helpline advisers will also be available on social media, by direct message to My World of Work on Facebook at www.facebook.com/myworldofwork or Instagram at instagram.com/mywowscotland