SQA 2021 Exam Moderation

Thank you for contacting me about exam moderation.

Following the cancellation of last year’s school exams, I immediately had significant concerns about the alternative certification model developed by the SNP. It was vital that any alternative model recognised pupils’ abilities, maintained the integrity of qualifications, and didn’t unfairly penalise those from deprived backgrounds.

However, it was clear after the fiasco of the release of last year’s results that the model developed by the SNP for this purpose achieved none of the intended objects.

The SNP’s model resulted in over 120,000 grades adjusted downwards, with over 45,000 of those being changed from a pass to a fail. Not only this, but the moderation process hit the most-deprived students far harder than the least-deprived, with pass rates at National 5 and Higher levels being reduced by over twice as much for those living in the poorest areas.

This was completely unacceptable and following the announcement that exams are to be cancelled again this year, it is vital that the mistakes of last year’s moderation process do not happen again. The Scottish Conservatives led the charge to get last year’s results overturned and we will continue to hold the SNP’s feet to the fire when it comes to the future life chances of our children.

The SNP Government are content with an underperforming education system. The Scottish Conservatives want to restore excellence in Scottish schools so that every child has the chance to succeed.

Thank you for taking the time to raise your concerns about what has been a difficult and highly emotive issue for many people – especially for parents, pupils and teachers.