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VIDEO: Pupils to learn in coming days about exams or assessment for next year

Pupils are likely to learn in the coming days whether they will sit exams next year.

Young people going into S4 to S6 are likely to learn in the coming days whether they will sit traditional exams next year.

Exams have been cancelled for the past two years due to the pandemic.

There was criticism that pupils and teachers were only told in December that the tests were off for Highers and Advanced Highers, several weeks after National 5 exams were cancelled.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said she will confirm “in the next few days” how Nat 5, Higher and Advanced Higher pupils will be assessed for 2021/22.

She also hinted that exams may be here to stay in the longer term, at least in some format.

Ms Somerville spoke on the topic as she met S4 to S6 pupils at Lochgelly High School, in Fife, on Tuesday morning after they received their 2021 results certificates.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville congratulated Lochgelly High School pupils Mason Smith, Beth Adam, Katie Wilson, Katie Brennan and Charlotte Alexander on their SQA results.

She said: “I’m due to make an announcement on what will be happening for next year’s process in the next few days and we will be updating people then.”

The future of exams in the longer term is likely to a big talking point later this month, with the publication of another report on the topic from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The OECD’s review of the Scottish curriculum, published in June, recommended consideration of a shift away from final exams, highlighting what was described as a “clash between 19th century assessment and 21st century curriculum”.

While some have called for an end to traditional exams, the Commission on School Reform, established by the Reform Scotland think tank, said earlier this week that scrapping the system altogether would put Scotland “out of step with the rest of the world”.

Are exams here to stay?

Ms Somerville said the OECD report will present options for consideration for how pupils are assessed in future.

She said: “As a government and as a country we need to be open to having that type of discussion.

“I don’t think we’ll ever get to a point where we are doing away with an end of term exam in its entirety but we do need to look at whether there’s anything more we can do to ensure that every person has the ability to demonstrate what they‘ve learned and what they have succeeded in over the year.

“Exams might not be right for every single young person.”

QUIZ: Can you get all 10 of these National 5 exam questions right?

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