Assessments for senior learners being affected by these decisions
In acknowledgement of COVID-19 related disruption to young people’s education this academic year, examinations for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses in 2021 have been cancelled. On 8 December the Deputy First Minister outlined to Parliament that National Qualifications in 2020-2021 will be awarded based on teacher judgement of evidence of demonstrated attainment, supported by local and national quality assurance processes.
The National Qualifications 2021 Group is considering the impact that the current arrangements are having on schools delivering National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses under the alternative certification model. This has included delaying the submission date for provisional results to 18 June, and the group are considering what further contingencies may be needed.
During this period the priority for schools and colleges should be to maximise learning and teaching time. Given the move to remote learning and the challenges learners face, the assessment of learner evidence cannot be undertaken unless young people have the foundation of teaching and learning of course content. This will impact on the timing of assessment, which can take place in the later stages of the 2020-21 session.
The access to schools for some senior phase learners from 22 February is for the purposes of facilitating learning which cannot be completed outside of school facilities. It is not intended that learners are given access to schools solely for the purpose of undertaking assessment at this point. Technical guidance providing detail on the specific circumstances under which learners should be returning is being provided separately.