Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): school re-opening arrangements for January 2021

Published: 21 Dec 2020
Last updated: 19 Jan 2021 - see all updates

Guidance for schools, local authorities and parents setting out plans for a phased start to the spring term 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): school re-opening arrangements for January 2021
Senior pupil assessments

Assessments for senior pupils being affected by these decisions   

In acknowledgement of COVID-19 related disruption to young people’s education this academic year, the Deputy First Minister outlined to Parliament on 8 December that National Qualifications in 2020-2021 will be awarded on evidence of demonstrated attainment, supported by local and national quality assurance processes. The alternative certification model offers flexibility and will help to alleviate some of the impacts on learning.  Work is ongoing, led by SQA in collaboration with the education system, to produce further guidance for Higher and Advanced Higher. 

Individual schools can provide more information on the arrangements for forthcoming assessments including the support young people can receive.

Individual schools may have prelim exams scheduled for the period between 5 January and 29 January. Prelims are not a required part of the qualifications process and decisions with regards to this matter rest with individual schools. It should, however, be noted that the guidance issued by the National Qualifications 2021 Group in October outlined advice on gathering evidence and producing estimates for National Qualifications, in light of the exams being cancelled.  This outlined that a range of candidate evidence for provisional results should be gathered to demonstrate attainment across the course, and that a range of flexible assessment approaches could be used. 

First published: 21 Dec 2020 Last updated: 19 Jan 2021 -