It goes without saying that the National Qualifications results for session 2019-20 were awarded in a unique and unforeseen way. The outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent restrictions on all our lives meant that pupils could not sit examinations and results were awarded based on school estimates which were then moderated by the SQA.
Overall the initial analysis of attainment data for Renfrew High indicates another extremely positive set of results, continuing a trend of improvement and representing the excellent achievements of so many of our young people. Like any year, most pupils gained what they would have expected or better, and some will be disappointed with aspects of their results.
Teaching staff worked extremely hard in challenging circumstances to arrive at the most accurate estimates possible in line with SQA training, based on evidence of performance and inferred achievement. Teacher professional judgement was then moderated within department teams to ensure fairness and consistency. There was then a further process at school level whereby senior leaders quality assured the data to ensure it was robust and credible and that it met the requirements set out by SQA. I am entirely confident that my teams carried out these tasks correctly as required.
Due to the unique nature of this year’s results there is an appeals process to ensure there is the opportunity to challenge an award where there is evidence to suggest that a pupil may have been disadvantaged. School staff will discuss this with pupils and parents to whom this applies when school reopens next week.
The cancellation of exams in 2020 in no way undermines the achievement of our pupils. An examination is a snapshot of a young person’s ability, however pupils demonstrate their progress throughout a school session in a variety of formative and summative assessments. Everyone can be confident that the qualifications achieved this year are well deserved and gained on merit within a robust system.
I am very proud of the achievements of our young people at Renfrew High School, and grateful for the efforts of the staff and parents who supported them in their learning.