Pupils’ coursework will not be marked this year, SQA says

Coursework completed by senior school pupils in Scotland will not be marked due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has said.

The move applies to those sitting Higher and Advanced Higher courses and follows the cancellation of exams this year and the closure of most schools to all but the children of key workers.

Completed coursework can still be used by teachers and lecturers to help them estimate grades.

The decision was taken after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s address on Sunday, in which she instructed young people who still have coursework to complete not to attend school.

SQA chief executive Fiona Robertson said current public health advice “has meant that we have had to make some really difficult decisions about coursework”.

She said: “This means that for this year, schools and colleges are not required to submit learner coursework for marking, in Higher and Advanced Higher courses.

“We have taken this difficult decision to be as fair as possible to all Higher and Advanced Higher candidates, whilst taking on board the current public health advice, the many varied coursework requirements across different subjects, and how these are managed in schools and colleges across the country.

“I appreciate that some learners may have already completed their coursework for Higher and Advanced Higher courses.

“This work can still be used as part of the suite of evidence for teachers and lecturers to draw on as they consider estimated grades.”

Ms Robertson, who is also Scotland’s chief examiner, said the SQA has received coursework for a range of National 5 subjects and “have contacted National 5 coursework markers to confirm marking arrangements”.

She added: “All National 5 coursework, due to be uplifted in April and May, will not be submitted for marking.

“We will provide further details on the estimation of grades that we will need from teachers and lecturers to inform certification, and fuller details of our approach to certification, as soon as possible.”

Ms Robertson added the SQA will do its “utmost, given the current situation, and with the support of the education system, to ensure that learners’ hard work is rightly and fairly recognised and allows them to proceed to further learning or work”.