Scottish school pupils receive grades after exam-free year

Credit: PA

Tens of thousands of school pupils in Scotland will receive their National, Higher and Advanced Higher results today.

Students who have completed Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) courses and awards over the past year will be notified of their results, which have been estimated by teachers due to the pandemic.

Exams were cancelled for the first time due to coronavirus, leading to the body having to devise an alternate method of awarding grades based on prelims and coursework assessment.

The SQA said it will "moderate" the results, based on historical performances of the school, not the pupil.

It has been pushed to reveal its methodology and results of a legally required Equalities Impact Assessment.

However, the exam body has said this will only happen after results are delivered to pupils - despite concerns from the Equality and Human Rights Commission that the proposed grading system may be illegal.

Pupils in schools that have seen the biggest recent improvement in results are at risk of having their grades undermined by historical results.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted on the eve of results day: "Thinking of all the young people across Scotland waiting for results tomorrow.

"The last few months have been so tough for you, so whatever tomorrow brings, well done!

"And remember, there are always options open to you. Good luck to you all."

For most that will mean waiting for an envelope in the post, while others who have a MySQA account will receive their grades by text or email from 8am.

Shaun Friel, head of Childline, said: "We know that for many young people, receiving exam results can be an extremely stressful experience with the pressure to get certain grades to secure college or university places.

"And, this year, some may be feeling the added strains of lockdown and the disappointment of not being able to do their best through sitting exams.

"So that young people do not feel overwhelmed as they receive their SQA results today, it is so important they have someone there to listen to how they are feeling and to discuss their options, such as a friend, a parent, a teacher or even Childline."

Children and young people can contact Childline about any worries by calling 0800 1111 or visiting the website.