Fri 11 Sep, 2020

After last month's fiasco we absolutely cannot have a situation where exams are cancelled at short notice again

The Scottish Greens have called for the 2021 exam diet to be cancelled, stating that it is too great a risk to assume that exams will be able to take place nine months from now without disruption.

The BBC and other outlets have reported comments made by the Education Secretary John Swinney confirming that the Government's current objective is to run a 'full 2021 exam diet'.

This objective is subject however to the outcome of an SQA consultation which received an unprecedented 23,000 responses, and the results of a review secured by the Scottish Greens into this year's grading scandal, whose remit includes considering how a similar situation can be avoided in 2021.

Teaching unions the EIS and SSTA have previously called for the 2021 exams to be cancelled and replaced with assessment through the year, to avoid the risk of national or localised school closures affecting young people's final results. This is a position shared by the Scottish Greens.

Commenting, Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer said:

“After last month's fiasco we absolutely cannot have a situation where exams are cancelled at short notice again, without other adequate arrangements having been put in place. There is simply no way to guarantee that schools won't be closed or exams cancelled, either across the country or in specific areas. Pressing ahead on the basis of end-of-year exams is an unacceptable risk.

"Waiting a few weeks for the results of the Priestley review and the SQA consultation will ensure that whatever decision is taken, it is informed by the views and experiences of teachers and pupils. A lack of similar consultation was a major failure of the SQA this year and it's exactly why the Greens secured the review. Whatever is decided though, it simply cannot be a 'normal' exam diet. That ship has already sailed."

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