Scottish Qualifications Authority 2021 appeals process

Paper Summary

The RSE’s Education Committee responded to the Scottish Qualifications Authority’s (SQA) consultation on proposed models for the 2021 appeals process. The Committee was in favour of model 2, wherein the majority of appeals are handled by centres with the option for escalation to SQA under specific circumstances. Given that centres are responsible for producing initial grades, it is logical for them to oversee any associated appeals in the first instance as they will be best placed to access and communicate the evidence underlying these grade determinations. However, candidates should have the ability to involve SQA in cases where they fundamentally disagree with these centre conclusions. The response also cautions against the use of ‘fairness’ as a grounds for appeal due to its inherent subjectivity.

The response also considers that the appeals process could allow for cross-centre moderation in cases where such a system has been put in place. Lastly, the use of a robust internal quality assurance process will help to reduce the overall volume of appeals that are lodged.

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