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Leading children and young people charities and academics call for changes to the SQA appeals process

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The Scottish Youth Parliament have joined other charities and academics to write an open letter to the SQA calling for changes to be made to the appeal process. The letter calls on the SQA to reconsider key elements of the appeals process, including the lack of a policy of no-detriment to allow young people to appeal without fear of being downgraded, and to take into account the exceptional circumstances that some young people have faced this year, including mental health challenges, bereavement, and caring responsibilities. Read the letter in full here.

Sophie Reid MSYP for Girlguiding Scotland and Trustee of the Scottish Youth Parliament said:

“Many young people across Scotland felt like the publication of the appeals process was another example of their views not being heard on issues that affect them. This is another blow to those that have already had an incredibly challenging year.

“The negative impacts of this will also not be felt equally across Scotland’s young people, and inevitably, those from the most disadvantaged background will be hit the hardest. With the incorporation of the UNCRC into Scots Law coming soon, we need to see public bodies meaningfully engage and respect young people’s views, and amending the appeals process would seem an obvious place to start.”

Liam Fowley MSYP for Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley, and Vice-Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament said:

““We’ve written to the sqa today because there is still time to change the appeals process and ensure it is compliant with young people’s rights. For that to happen, we need to see a policy of no-detriment and the consideration of exceptional circumstances.

“An appeals process that includes a policy of no-detriment would ensure that young people were not gambling with their futures when they appeal. And taking into consideration exceptional circumstances is a recognition of the incredibly challenging year young people have had, especially those who have experienced bereavement, acted as carers, experienced mental health challenges, and more.”

The letter has been signed by:

  • Liam Fowley MSYP, Scottish Youth Parliament, Vice Chair, Young persons’ representative on Covid Education Recovery Group
  • Bruce Adamson, Commissioner for Children and Young People Scotland
  • Cameron Garrett MSYP, Scottish Youth Parliament Education and Lifelong Learning Convener, Young persons’ representative on National Qualifications Group 2021
  • Margaret Wilson, Chair, National Parent Forum Scotland, Parents’ representative on National Qualifications Group 2021
  • Juliet Harris, Director, Together, Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights
  • Amy Woodhouse, Joint Interim Chief Executive, Children in Scotland
  • Louise Hunter, Chief Executive, Who Cares? Scotland
  • Matt Crilly, NUS Scotland President
  • Paul Traynor, Head of External Affairs, Carers Trust Scotland
  • Rachael Hatfield, Katrina Lambert and Joel Meekison, SQA Where’s Our Say?
  • Cathy McCulloch, Director, Children’s Parliament
  • Martin Dorchester, Chief Executive, Includem
  • Dr Mhairi Crawford, Chief Executive, LGBT Youth Scotland
  • Dr Tracy Kirk, Lecturer in Law, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Seonaid Stevenson McCabe, Lecturer in Law, Glasgow Caledonian University.
  • Dr Alison Struthers, Assistant Professor, University of Warwick
  • Dr Fiona MacDonald, Lecturer, University of South Wales
  • Dr Ruth Brittle, Lecturer, Nottingham Trent University
  • Dr Naomi Lott, Research Fellow, University of Nottingham
  • Gerli Orumaa, PhD Law, Swansea University
  • Rhian Croke, Independent Children’s Rights Adviser and PhD Candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, Swansea University
  • Rhian Thomas Turner,  PhD candidate,  Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, Swansea.
  • Dr Carole Dalgleish, University of Stirling
  • Dr Fiona Morrison, Senior Lecturer, University of Stirling
  • Claire Burns, Director (Acting), CELCIS
  • James Adams, Director, RNIB Scotland.
  • Eileen Prior, Executive Director, Connect

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