• Case ref:
    201100398
  • Date:
    October 2011
  • Body:
    Scottish Qualifications Authority
  • Sector(s):
    Scottish Government and Devolved Administration
  • Subject:
    policy/administration
  • Outcome:
    Not upheld, no recommendations

Summary
Mrs C complained that her son's school did not ensure that support arrangements were in place for him during his Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) exams. The school, Mrs C and her son contacted the SQA about this. The SQA reviewed his examination papers and the alternative evidence provided by the school through their appeals process but decided not to increase the pupil’s grades. Mrs C complained that the SQA did not have procedures in place to allow them to compensate for the school's error.

In line with their appeals process, the SQA was unable to upgrade marks without evidence of attainment at the higher level. The SQA had looked at Mrs C's son's examination papers and evidence submitted by the school. They found that there was not evidence of attainment at a higher level than Mrs C's son achieved in his Higher examinations, and so they were unable to upgrade his marks.

A process which would deal with the circumstances if this case would be a process which would involve the SQA having to make a judgement on potential performance, without evidence of attainment at that level. It is important that the SQA are able to ensure the integrity of their awards and we understood that, if the SQA were to have a process which would allow them to upgrade awards based on potential performance, this would be subjective and possibly open to manipulation. While we appreciated Mrs C and her son's frustration at the situation, we did not uphold her complaint.