In April 2014 the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) introduced the new Results Services to support pupils undertaking externally accessed National Qualifications.   

The Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service operates before results are published.  This supports pupils who have been unable to attend an externally-assessed timetabled examination or whose performance in such as examination may have been fundamentally affected as a result of an incident beyond their control. 

Personal circumstances would include for example:

  • close family bereavement
  • a medical condition where the pupil is incapacitated and unable to attempt the assessment
  • an exceptional domestic circumstance - such as a close family member's health deteriorating and being rushed to hospital the night before
  • an exceptional absence - such as being a witness in court, national representation in a sporting event etc.

In these situations the pupil's parent/carer must:

  • contact the school immediately to notify the school of the situation;
  • provide supporting documentation - such as a GPs note;
  • submit this to the school as soon as possible and certainly within a few days of the examination as there is a 10-day deadline for submission to the SQA following the examination.

The School will be required to submit all the necessary information and be in possession of all supporting documentation so that the appropriate paperwork is lodged with the SQA within 10 working days of the examination.

The Post Results Service:

operates after the results have been published where a concern exists about an awarded grade which is significantly out of line with expectations.  In other words, the school needs to believe there is a reasonable possibility that an error may have occurred. It is not sufficient for a pupil/parent to believe the final grade should have been higher.

West Lothian Council schools will only submit requests on the basis of strong evidence.  Requests will not be submitted on compassionate grounds for the Post Results Service and will not be submitted on the grounds that the parent/carer offers to pay for the costs of submission.

The school requires written consent from a parent/carer and candidate to authorise a post results services request to SQA since a marking review can result in an increase or a decrease in the awarded grade.

Post Results Services will not be requested where:

  • A pupil's awarded grade is in line expectation of the school based on performance throughout the course and with the estimated grade submitted by school to the SQA.
  • A change in band will not change the overall grade eg Grade B band 3 estimated and Grade B band 4 awarded - pupil still achieves an overall Grade B.
  • The pupil's performance has been inconsistent during the year such that the final award falls within the range of performance.
  • The pupil's estimate is found to be overly optimistic in light of actual performance of the class cohort in the examination.
  • Awarded Grade is higher than the estimated grade.

The final decision to submit the Post Results Service Request will be taken by the Head Teacher after consultation with the relevant DHT and relevant PTC of subject concerned.