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SQA appeals, unfair in the second line.

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by aypi, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    I had a look at the SQA appeals page.I only got as far as the second line of the candidate page:

    "Your school or college can only appeal if the grade you were awarded is lower than the estimated grade that they sent to us"

    We were instructed not to tell the pupils the grades that were being submitted. If a pupil was given a grade by the school the pupil thought unfair there is no chance appeal.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  2. chocolate jesus

    chocolate jesus New commenter

    An utter shambles! I have a situation where inferred estimates were upheld and estimates based on solid evidence were put down. One poor pupil went from a B to a D! Also, in one dept the final grade was higher than some of the estimates provided!
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    "I'm not allowed to tell you what estimated grade we sent to SQA but we recommend you appeal" (nudge, wink)
    inthered likes this.
  4. offhegoes

    offhegoes New commenter

    On the first point my guess is that pupils/parents will express a concern to schools and the schools will take it from there. Remember there is also a mechanism for appeals should a parent/pupil feel the estimated grade was unreasonable.

    With the second post, the SQA said all along grades can be moderated up as well as down. B to D is a surprise but then I don’t know all the details. I assume rank order is unchanged?

    It might actually be better for you that the changed grades are ones with solid evidence - these are the ones with a stronger chance of a successful appeal! Remember the SQA has no idea at this point what you based your estimates on.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  5. subman68

    subman68 Occasional commenter

    No you can and must now tell pupils the estimate and rank. Dpa anyway. You could not tell them before the results were out but can and must now if requested
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  6. chocolate jesus

    chocolate jesus New commenter

    From the SQA doc on the methodology regarding awards: 'Centre estimates are not always accurate when compared to the grades candidates achieve in practice. Estimating accuracy varies across centres, subjects and levels. Whilst the 8 majority of candidates achieve within one band of their estimate, around one-third are outwith this and only 45% achieve their estimated grade...
    SQA reviewed estimated and resulted grades from Diet 2019. For estimates with a completion status of ‘C’, (ie where the candidate for whom the estimate was submitted had completed the examination and any coursework) 48% of grades estimated at National 5 matched resulted grades; at Higher 44%; and at Advanced Higher 43%

    and the way to sort this, as more than half of estimates are incorrect, as estimates, by necessity, are not 'acts of prophesy', is come up with a number crunching mathematical act of prophesy? Brilliant!
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  7. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Cue the appeals avalanche . . .
    Marisha likes this.
  8. offhegoes

    offhegoes New commenter

    Yep, and those appeal timescales are now looking very tight, especially with little happening until class teachers return in terms of checking which pupils will merit an appeal.
    bigjimmy2 and Marisha like this.
  9. grayst

    grayst Occasional commenter

    From the SQA methodology document:

    "Fundamentally, moderation was undertaken at centre level, where a centre’s 2020 estimated attainment level for each grade on a course was assessed against that centre’s historical attainment for that grade on that course — with additional tolerances to allow for year-on-year variability in a centre’s attainment."

    This is exactly what we - and the likes of Ross Greer MSP - were worried about. In other words, if you have a cohort which is significantly better than normal, you may well have a problem.

    I can't find any mention of moderation on the basis of a centre's track record of estimation.. I'm pretty sure that Swinney told the Parliament Education Committee that that would be used.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  10. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    They will bs their way through this. After all, most people don't have a grasp of basic statistics and won't be able to challenge their reasoning.
  11. offhegoes

    offhegoes New commenter

    That’s a good point, we spent a lot of time looking at the reliability of our predicted grades. Was that just the SQA “helping” us come up with estimates we’re happy with?!
  12. grayst

    grayst Occasional commenter

    Well this is a bit annoying.

    From the Education Committee on 1 May:


    "Ross Greer (West Scotland) (Green): I would like to go back to the point about the use of schools’ historical attainment data as part of the moderation for the grades of individual pupils.

    The Deputy First Minister suggested that that data would be used only to check the historical estimation of grades by teachers, to see where their estimation lined up with the final attainment.

    However, based on what the SQA has said today, that is not the case. You have said that that data will be used directly in the moderation of individual pupils’ grades. Logic suggests, as Iain Gray indicated, that that will disproportionately disadvantage pupils who go to schools that are in less high-achieving areas—which directly correlates with deprivation."

    However the records for the previous two committee meetings - at one of which Swinney made his comments, and I remember reading them - are now missing from the Parliament website.
  13. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    My initial point has been missed by some.
    A teacher graded the pupil in April, the pupil did not know the grade the teacher came to in April, we were told not to reveal it.
    The pupil may have been unhappy at the April grade, leaving the pupil with no appeal, since it should have happened in April when he did not know what it was.
  14. offhegoes

    offhegoes New commenter

    I’d need to dig it out but I’m sure I read that the SQA will also have a process for disputing actual estimates?
  15. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    Confused on the point you're trying to make

    If a pupil's award is less than what you estimated, you put in an appeal. It's fairly simple.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  16. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    But, if the pupil is unhappy about my estimate, they are stuffed.
  17. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    It's nothing to do with whether or not the pupil is happy. If it is lower than what you estimated, you appeal.

    To me it's fairy simple and that's the way to look at it (without trying to come across as patronising). If we took every SQA document at face value (and Christ there's a lot of them) we'd be going round in circles. You're trying to help pupils out and if you've got the evidence to challenge awards, go for it.
    inthered likes this.
  18. grayst

    grayst Occasional commenter

    True, we were given a significant amount of power in the estimation process. But presumably every ELT and SLT had a process for reviewing the estimates laterally to find and resolve cases of individual teacher bias.
  19. alendra

    alendra New commenter

    They may be unhappy about it, but as long as it was evidence-based, then they've little genuine grounds for complaint. Just them saying ' but I would have worked harder for the final exam' isn't really evidence.

    Don't know how it worked elsewhere, but at our place, every member of the department had input into all the estimates, so it wasn't just one person making a decision. Those decisions were then reviewed by SLT as well. Hopefully that will have gone a long way to resolving any potential bias.
  20. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    From now on every teacher should test pupils on a regular basis (return of the NABs?), plus the prelim. Each department needs a suite of homeworks that also needs to be given regularly. There's your evidence. It's not difficult, is it?

    This might also have the side effect of pupils knowing that regular testing "counts", with resulting improvements in discipline. Those pupils merely killing time on inappropriate courses, well, who knows?

    There's also the small possibility that our beloved SQA might do away with exams altogether (think £££) so make sure your bottom is well and truly covered.

    There will be some sort of inquiry into the current omnishambles but rest assured that the SQA won't be taking the majority of the blame ("we based our awards on teacher estimates"), we all know where that finger will be pointed.
    autoq, Effinbankers and Marisha like this.

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