Since August, pupils across Tayside and Fife have been working towards National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications.
Yet until today they and their teachers were in the dark as to whether they would sit exams or be judged on their coursework throughout the academic year.
Those in fifth year and sixth year will have already experienced the cancellation of this year’s exams.
Many of them will have seen their predicted grades downgraded by the SQA before the Scottish Government’s backtrack to issuing teachers’ marks.
All have lost a full term of face-to-face learning and have returned to classes affected by continuing coronavirus restrictions and enhanced hygiene requirements.
So, following the unprecedented disruption young people have suffered over the last few months they needed to know as soon as possible what they were working towards.
SQA guidance on this year’s qualification process was initially due in the first week of September but its publication was delayed pending the findings of a review in this year’s results fiasco.
Today’s announcement – initially programmed for Tuesday but delayed one more day – brought the news many expected, that National 5 exams would be cancelled but Highers and Advanced Higher exams would go ahead, public health guidance permitting.
Anticipating this year’s disruption could continue into next, teachers have already begun the process of assessing pupils’ work and gathering evidence of that assessment.
And the young people they teach have knuckled down from the outset.
Now they can both have a more certainty when they return to school after the October holidays of what they are working towards.
Assurance has also been offered there will be “no algorithm” used in this year’s grading process, for either National 5 pupils or, if the pandemic leads to tighter restrictions, Higher and Advanced Higher pupils.
After the chaos of the 2020 results and the upheaval they have endured over the last few months, young people whose futures may be shaped by the months ahead, need to know more than ever that they will get the results they have worked for and deserve to achieve.