No Higher or Advanced Higher exams for Shetland pupils in 2021

Shetland pupils will not sit Higher or Advanced Higher exams this academic year, in recognition of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Education secretary John Swinney made the announcement in parliament today (Tuesday).

Mr Swinney highlighted the disruption caused by the pandemic, which has seen pupils lose weeks of teaching time during lockdown and further disruption once schools reopened. 

He said the disruption had disproportionately affected pupils from poorer communities,  posing questions as to whether exams could be held fairly.

Instead, Mr Swinney announced a new model based on teachers’ judgements of evidence of learner attainment.

“It’s safe, it’s fair and it better recognises the reality of the disruption so many pupils have had to their learning,” he said. 

Mr Swinney said the model had the broad support across Scotland’s education professionals. He stressed no algorithms would be used. 

National 5 tests have already been cancelled.


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