Teachers will have the “final and ultimate” say on what grades pupils will receive, Scotland’s education secretary has pledged.
Shirley-Anne Somerville said that if a teacher determines that a young person should have an A, then that is the result they should have.
Earlier this month, the Scottish Government set out the new assessment system which will allow pupils to directly submit grade appeals.
It comes after exams were cancelled for senior-phase school pupils for the second year in a row due to restrictions brought by the pandemic.
Speaking on STV’s Scotland Tonight, Somerville acknowledged the problems with the system in place last year.
“We did have a difficulty last year where we had an algorithm that took into account previous attainment within a school. That’s not what’s happening this year,” she said.
“I think it’s important to take this opportunity to reassure young people that if your teacher, when they look at the assessments you’ve had, determine that you should have an A, then an A is what you should have.
“We have a quality assurance process that allows schools to look at what’s happened in previous years, teachers can then have a look at that and see if there’s been changes year to year.
“But, very importantly it’s up to the teacher, and if the teacher decides their decisions to begin with were the correct decision then nobody changes that – not the school, not the local authority, not the SQA and certainly not anyone else.
“The teacher has the final and ultimate say on what that grade should be.”
Somerville said that no-one will “interfere” in the process of determining grades received by pupils.
She said: “They (teachers) can look at historical data to see what’s happened in the past but I trust that teachers are the professionals we know they all are.
“So they can have an eye to that, but if they’re looking at an individual’s assessments… and we can absolutely reassure young people that if your teacher determines you were deserving of an A based on your demonstrated attainment, then an A is what your teacher will give you and no-one will interfere with that process.”
Asked if she is prepared to guarantee that the results process will run smoothly, she added: “I believe that we have a fair and a credible system that young people can have faith in and we’re determined to deliver that for the sake of our young people that have had an exceptionally difficult year.”
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