Pupils, teachers and parents will learn more next week about how exams may or may not be held in the spring.
Following the cancellation of this year’s exams due to the pandemic there is speculation that 2021 exams for National 5s will be cancelled and that some Higher and Advanced Higher exams will be scaled back.
A ministerial statement is to be delivered in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday on the assessment of SQA national qualifications in 2020/21.
The Scottish Government said Education Secretary John Swinney will “offer clarity to the education system” as pupils prepare to enter their second term of the academic year.
The Scottish Greens have already called for the entire diet in May to be dropped, claiming that proceeding on the basis exams will definitely go ahead presents an unacceptable risk, due to disruption and school closures throughout the year or last-minute cancellations.
However, the Scottish Conservatives say holding the exams must be plan A.
Their education spokesman Jamie Greene said: “John Swinney simply has to give parents, pupils and staff the clarity over what is going to happen with this year’s exams.
“Nothing less than a full explanation will be acceptable.
“The exam debacle this year means the SNP’s Education Secretary has lost the confidence of those involved in education.
“Despite the rise in cases, John Swinney must pull out all the stops to ensure that next year’s exams go ahead as planned.
“Our young people cannot be let down again.”
John Swinney simply has to give parents, pupils and staff the clarity over what is going to happen with this year’s exams.”
Jamie Green MSP, Scottish Conservatives
Guidance to teachers from the Scottish Qualifications Authority on the 2021 exams and courses was due to be given in the week beginning August 31, but the organisation was asked to delay publication pending a review of this year’s fiasco.
Findings of the review by Professor Mark Priestley were due to be submitted to Mr Swinney by the end of September.
The government has previously stated its ambition is to hold a 2021 exams diet but that there “remains a risk of further disruption”
On Thursday, a spokesperson said: “Our ambition is to run a 2021 examination diet, however there remains a risk of further disruption for learners and schools, or more widely across the country.
“Any changes to course assessment need to be considered alongside the findings of Professor Priestley’s review of the 2020 exams, while the SQA and the education recovery group are looking at appropriate contingencies.
“Deputy First Minister John Swinney will make a Parliamentary statement to give clarity to the education system on next year’s exams.”