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Exam period returns for schools and colleges after pandemic gap

Exam period begins for schools and colleges across Scotland (David Davies/PA)
Exam period begins for schools and colleges across Scotland (David Davies/PA)

School pupils and college students across Scotland are preparing to sit exams for the first time since the pandemic hit.

Exams for Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) National 5 and Higher and Advanced Highers start from Tuesday and will run until Wednesday June 1.

Formal exams had been cancelled two years running due to the coronavirus.

More than 128,000 candidates will sit exams over the five-week period and for most it will be their first time sitting national exams.

SQA said it has despatched more than two million question papers to more than 500 schools, colleges, and training providers being used as exam venues.

SQA exams will also be held in the USA, Croatia, Israel and the Netherlands, as special arrangements have been put in place to accommodate candidates who are representing their country at the time of their exams.

Fiona Robertson, SQA chief executive and Scotland’s chief examining officer, said: “I wish all learners the very best as they prepare to sit their exams and complete their assessments, and take their opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned and what they can do.

“I commend them for their hard work and resilience in the face of the many challenges presented by the pandemic.

“I also pay tribute to the professionalism of Scotland’s teachers and lecturers and their commitment to learners across the country. Their work, and that of their colleagues, plays a vital role in enabling our young people to achieve qualifications they deserve.”

In total, more than 142,000 candidates are expected to get their results on Tuesday August 9.

Last month, a decision was made to replace SQA and Education Scotland with new organisations as part of an overhaul of the education system following a report by education expert Professor Ken Muir.

Prof Muir’s report recommended that the SQA’s replacement be called Qualifications Scotland, though a name has yet to be decided.

His recommendation, which was accepted by the Government, was that the new exams organisation should have a different governance structure with more input from learners and teachers.

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