National 5 'Fallback'/Recognising Positive Achievement (RPA)

Created on: 12 Nov 2018 | Last modified: 14 Nov 2018

Since the Spring, the EIS has called for a decision to be made regarding the arrangements relating to 'fallback'/ RPA at National 5 to allow schools to plan.

The Cabinet Secretary has now announced that the arrangements that he permitted last session enabling students to be presented, in exceptional circumstances, for both a National 5 qualification and National 4 Units in the same subject, otherwise known as 'fallback' or RPA, will not continue beyond this session.  

With this in mind, members are reminded that dual presentation during this session should be in rare circumstances only and where it is judged to be in a student's best interests following discussion with students themselves, their teachers and their parents/carers.

Members should also continue to observe the previously issued advice that all SQA-related workload must be accounted for within Working Time Agreements. Where expectations related to the delivery of SQA qualifications exceed that which can be delivered within the 35 hour working week, members should raise the issue with their line manager in the first instance and if unresolved with the School Rep or Local Association Secretary as appropriate thereafter.

Members are also advised to engage in discussions at school and departmental level on senior phase presentation policy, taking account of the removal of 'Fallback'/RPA and the desire within the system, in keeping with the rationale of the CfE senior phase, to move away from annual presentations in favour of greater depth of learning and curriculum diversification.