EXAM authorities have been told to release the methods used to award qualifications this year amid a fear over a pile of appeals – as students across Scotland receive their results on Tuesday.

Education Secretary John Swinney was forced to cancel this year’s exams due to the school closures brought on by the Covid-19 crisis.

This meant that the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) had to draw up an alternative method to award pupils their qualifications – based on teacher estimates, course work and previous attainment.

Fears have also been raised that there will be a flurry of appeals with grading adjustments set to be made in order to ensure national averages remain consistent.

Conservative education spokesperson, Jamie Greene, has called on the SQA to release its full method used to draw up the results and ensure authorities are prepared for a wave of appeals – to give pupils, teachers and parents confidence in the process.

He said: “Whilst we supported the decision in March to close schools and cancel exams, there are still many unanswered questions over the specific methodology the SQA is using to awards these grades and how national averages impacts that process.

"The appeals process must be fair, transparent and equipped to deal with potentially thousands of cases in the coming days, to help minimise disruption for the many students hoping to attend college and university in September.

"The Deputy First Minister told us the SQA would release their methodology in full after the results are released – he now needs to ensure that this happens."

Mr Swinney said the Covid-19 crisis has meant this has “been a year like no other with the cancellation of exams”, admitting the situation “has caused greater anxiety for Scotland’s young people”.

Fiona Robertson, the SQA chief executive, has previously told Holyrood’s education committee that the appeals process “will provide for further, evidence-based consideration of grades if schools and colleges do not think awarded grades fairly reflect learner performance” - but admitted that “it will not be possible to include engagement with schools and colleges within the moderation process”.

She added: “In line with our approach every year, we will be clear about the awarding process on results day.

READ MORE: EIS demands 'pupil social distancing rules' and 'significant concerns' to be addressed

“This year, this will of course include the detail underpinning our approach and the impact of any moderation that we have had to make to estimates.”

Scottish Labour has claimed that the SQA is “dodging scrutiny again” after refusing to be open and make public the disparity between appeals for state and independent schools last year.

The party claims that in every year since 2014, the percentage of appeals at independent schools has been at least double that of appeals at state schools.

Scottish Labour education spokesperson, Iain Gray, said: "After refusing to disclose the methodology for moderation of results until after they are released this year, the SQA is now dodging scrutiny again by refusing to tell us the disparity between state and independent school appeals rates last year.

“Tomorrow's results have been widely predicted to lead to an enormous number of appeals - but the SQA's continued shroud of secrecy will make it more difficult to accurately assess the SNP Government's shambolic handling of education, as well as the impact of Covid-19.”