FAQs for S5/6 and School Leavers
School Closures and Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Senior Phase Frequently Asked Questions
Last update Tuesday 4 August
As you are aware, this years’ exam diet will not now go ahead. We understand that this is an uncertain time for young people in the Senior Phase and their Parent/Carers. Firstly, please try not to panic. We will be doing everything possible to ensure no young person is disadvantaged.
Will my academic achievements be recognised?
Yes, your achievements this session will be recognised. The SQA will ask the school to provide an estimated grade for each of your courses based on your achievements in coursework and assessments. This estimate must be based on the evidence that we have on your progress. This includes coursework and assessments conducted throughout the year and not just your prelim results. The SQA will also look at a variety of data including prior attainment where appropriate to establish your final grade and will issue your grade and your exam certificate no later than Tuesday 4th August 2020.
I want to appeal a grade, what should I do?
We are able to request one of two post-certification review types:
a priority review – for candidates with a conditional university or college offer. Deadline for submission of Priority Reviews is 14th August 2020
a review – Deadline for submission 21st August 2020.
Mr Macleod will review all candidate results and will contact you by Friday 7th August if there is a possibility that a review may be applicable to your child. Alternatively, if you wish to enquire about the possibility of a review please contact him directly at school. In line with government advice he will be contacting you through email/phone rather than the normal face-to-face meetings. If you do wish to contact Mr Macleod please initially email him at firstname.lastname@example.org stating the name of your child and the subject that you wish to be considered for review.
For any queries regarding change of course choices please email Mr Downie on email@example.com.
What if I did not complete a mandatory assignment, practical exam or portfolio?
Please do not panic. The SQA released a statement on 24/03/20:
“This means that for this year, schools and colleges are not required to submit learner coursework for marking, in Higher and Advanced Higher courses.
We have taken this difficult decision to be as fair as possible to all Higher and Advanced Higher candidates, whilst taking on board the current public health advice, the many varied coursework requirements across different subjects, and how these are managed in schools and colleges across the country.
SQA appreciates that some learners may have already completed their coursework for Higher and Advanced Higher courses. This work can still be used as part of the suite of evidence for teachers and lecturers to draw on as they consider estimated grades.
We have received coursework for a range of National 5 subjects and have contacted National 5 coursework markers to confirm marking arrangements. All National 5 coursework, due to be uplifted in April and May, will not be submitted for marking.
We will provide further details on the estimation of grades, that we will need from teachers and lecturers to inform certification, and fuller details of our approach to certification, as soon as possible.
This is an unprecedented situation for us all, and circumstances are rapidly changing. With every change in circumstances, we continue to consider how best to recognise learner achievement in as fair a way as possible.
Please be assured that everyone here at SQA is fully committed to working with you to deliver for Scotland’s young people. Thank you for your patience and continued co-operation.”
The SQA released a further update on Thursday 2 April regarding this year’s certification of qualifications: SQA Parent Carer FAQ 2 4 20
We will receive further instructions from SQA after Easter and will keep parents, carers and young people updated.
Should I continue with my coursework?
No, the SQA advice is that you do not need to complete any outstanding coursework for your NQ subjects. The advice for colleges is slightly different - if your college lecturer has been in touch asking you to complete a piece of work, you should do so if you are able.
Some N5 mandatory assignments/portfolios had already been submitted to the SQA but will no longer be marked externally by the SQA and used towards your final grade. Subjects that have already been submitted will be held in case they are required as part of an appeals process.
These subjects are:
All subjects with a later April/May deadline will no longer be marked by the SQA. These subjects are:
Art and Design (Expressive and Design)
Design and Manufacture
Internally assessed components in the following subjects will not be sent to the SQA:
Design and Manufacture
Practical Cookery assessments will not take place.
All assignments/portfolios and dissertations will no longer be submitted to the SQA for marking. However, we might be able to use this as further evidence to inform your course estimates.
Can I find out what my final grade will be before the 4th August?
No. The SQA will make this decision based upon any coursework which has been submitted and marked by the SQA, the estimate submitted by the school, and any other relevant information for that subject. Estimates provided by the school will form only one part of the process. Please do not contact teachers directly about your estimated grades.
What about my UCAS application?
UCAS have released the following statement:
They have extended the deadline for you to make your decision, so do not feel pressured into doing anything just now.
Will my estimated grade be the same as my UCAS predicted grades?
No, your predicted grades were provided at a very early point in your course and based on your teachers’ judgement in November. Your estimated grades will be based on much more robust knowledge of your progress in your courses and might differ from grades provided at the time of your UCAS application.
Can I still apply for courses at Forth Valley College e.g. full-time, school partnership courses and Foundation Apprenticeships?
Yes. As you will be aware the college, like your school, is currently closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Forth Valley College staff are continuing to work remotely and will continue to process all applications. Applications must be completed as soon as possible. Mr Hamilton emailed you last week to offer support and answer any questions that you may have if you indicated on your course choice form that you wanted to apply to college for a School Partnership course. If you did not receive an email and want to apply to college, please email him (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you have already applied to a course then you should have received an email from the college with details of what will happen next.
The college team will not be carrying out face-to-face interviews but will instead be selecting you for the courses based on a number of things. This may include:
Telephone interview: FVC team will arrange a telephone interview for you with the selected member of staff. You will receive the date and time for this call by e-mail as you would for a face-to-face interview.
You will receive a task which you should complete and return to the email address provided and by the completion date. It is possible that you may also be contacted for a telephone interview.
You may be offered a place depending on your current qualifications and with confirmation from your school that the course is a suitable choice for you.
FVC may use a combination of all of the above.
It is really important that you are available for your telephone interview and that you return any task set by the completion date as this is also an important part of your selection for a college course. If this is not possible, because you are ill for example, you should reply to the college email to explain your situation.
Will I still get my Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) when the school is closed?
EMA payments will continue. It is assumed that you are accessing learning online via Google Classroom.
How do I apply to SAAS?
SAAS have opened their applications up for anyone starting a new full time college or university course after the summer.
Everyone needs to apply to SAAS regardless of your family income. Those on lower incomes may be eligible for additional grants.
Please see here - https://www.saas.gov.uk/files/447/saas-student-funding-key-facts.pdf - to get started. A fuller guide is here: https://www.saas.gov.uk/guides/guide-to-undergraduate-funding
SAAS covers tuition fees, grants and student loans. You do not need to wait for results day to apply. You should register with SAAS as soon as you can and then apply. The site tells you the information that you need to apply.
If you have any questions you can contact them on Twitter or by phone (0300 555 0505) if you get stuck.
I am in new S5, will my work placement still be going ahead?
No. As employees are still being asked to work from home in June, it will not be possible for your work placement to go ahead. If you completed the placement prior to lockdown, you can complete your level 5 work placement award. SDS and SQA are working on a new award that you can achieve without completing your placement - we will send out more information when we have it.
Moving the timetable forward.
The timetable moved forward on Monday 4 May. Please email email@example.com if you are missing from one of your new Google Classrooms. You can also continue to work towards the free OU courses posted in your Google Classroom:
OpenLearn from The Open University
Free online learning from The Open University. OpenLearn gives you free access to course materials and expert opinion on topical issues. https://www.open.edu/openlearn/
This has lots of interesting short courses (free). They tend to be extracts from actual modules and are less structured and do not lead to credits.
This is an umbrella site for many MOOCs from universities around the world.
Online First Aid course
I am leaving this year and I need support with what to do next. How can I still get help with this?
We remain committed to supporting our leavers into a positive destination and will do all we can to continue to offer our support during these uncertain times.
Skills Development Scotland
Skills Development Scotland cannot deliver career services face to face, but they are still there to help. You can contact your school Careers Adviser, Suzie Todd for career information, advice and guidance. You can get in touch with Suzie directly by phoning 01786 462036 or 07833 234867. She is happy to phone back or arrange to meet online using Skype. You can also use www.myworldofwork.co.uk for help with interviews and building your CV.
What do I do if I am worried or anxious about everything that is happening?
Your pupil support teacher is here for you. Please email Mrs Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are in Douglas or Randolph or Miss Robb (email@example.com) if you are in Stewart. You can also email Mrs McCabe (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ms Devoy (email@example.com) or Ms Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you would like to talk to someone over the phone, Stirling Council have set up the Wellbeing Line for children and young people 12 years an over. The service is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1.30pm to 4pm. This line is confidential and will not ask for any details unless concerned for your wellfare.
Phone: 0800 015 3320
Do I still need to complete a Leavers Form?
Yes, this provides us with important information that allows us to move forward with our planning for next year and allow us to continue to offer support, if required, after you have left us. The online leavers form is here. (requires school login)
I have additional support needs and would normally have a TAC meeting in school to support my transition post-school. Will this still take place?
At this time, no meetings will take place. The professionals involved will continue to work ‘behind the scenes’ to support your transition and when things are back to normal a further meeting will be called. In the meantime, if you or your parent/carer, have any questions you can email your key teacher through directly or by emailing the school.
Advice for Parents/carers:
Stirling Council has set up a dedicated telephone advice line and email enquiry service for those seeking advice about children and young people’s support needs, learning and well being during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
You can contact the advice line by either:
Telephone - 01786 404040 (Monday-Friday from 10am-12.30pm and from 1.30pm-4pm)
This link will take you to all of the current ways to get support from Stirling Council:
What if I have more questions?
Please email any questions to the school and we will do our very best to answer them. Thank you again for your support and understanding. We hope you and your family remain safe and well.