The EIS welcomes the SQA announcement of a package of support for learners sitting N5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams in the forthcoming diet, given the significant levels of Covid disruption during this academic session so far.

The EIS had argued that there should not be a return to high stakes exams this year given the risk of further Covid disruption and in view of the inequalities that characterise the exam system. However, the Scottish Government remained set on an exam diet.

In light of this and given the levels of disruption that continue to be experienced by schools, including record levels of students and teacher absence, the EIS has persistently highlighted the need to properly support schools and students undertaking qualifications this year.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “The provision by the SQA of some revision support for courses which have an exam is helpful for students, though it will be important that schools and local authorities are supported to enable additional relevant study support for young people who would not otherwise have access to private tutors, in order that students might benefit from the SQA revisions aids on a more equitable basis.”

Mr Flanagan added, “The inclusion this year of an Appeals service that can be accessed by students who perform less well in the final exams than their evidence-based estimates suggest, and of arrangements for Exceptional Circumstances in the event that students are unable to sit the final exam, also provide some mitigation of the impacts of Covid disruption on learner outcomes.”