Planned cancellation of National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

The plans to cancel examinations and instead use teacher judgements to award National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher grades this year (referred to as 'the plans').
Please release the following and, where material does not exist, state so clearly.

  • Any materials relating to the equality impact implications of the plans

NB This is most likely to relate to the impact of the plans on candidates From deprived backgrounds but may also relate to other factors such as ethnicity
The time frame for this request is 20/12/2019 - present.


I enclose a copy of the information you requested in the Annex to this letter.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide a small amount of the information you have requested because an exemption under 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information because it is personal data of a third party, ie names/contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

You may also find it helpful to note that consideration and assessment of the equality impacts relating to the plans to cancel the 2020 exam diet and instead use teacher judgements to award National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher grades would primarily by considered by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). Therefore you may wish to contact SQA via as they could hold further information which may be of interest to you.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI-202000035527 Information released - Annex


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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