Exams on track

Contingency measures and support in place.

It remains the government’s ‘firm intention’ to hold National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams this Spring, Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville has restated.

Taking into consideration ongoing disruption within schools, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has decided to invoke its Scenario 2 contingency and will provide revision support in early March to aid learners in preparing for their exams. 

It complements the significant modifications SQA has already made to reduce the volume of assessment and ease the workload of learners, teachers and lecturers.

SQA has also, today, announced a series of measures that will support delivery of the qualifications this year and that acknowledge the disruption caused by the pandemic:

  • exceptional circumstances back-up for learners who are unable to attend their exam or exams due to illness or bereavement
  • grading exams this year will look to factor in the impact of the pandemic on learners
  • once the results have been published, learners will have free direct access to appeal

Ms Somerville also confirmed that £4 million will be used to support schools and colleges provide targeted exam preparation sessions for learners who need it most over the Easter break.

In a statement delivered in the Scottish Parliament, the Education Secretary said:

“It remains my firm intention that exams will take place as planned - they will only be cancelled if public health advice says it isn’t safe.

“While the number of full and partial school closures has been small, it is clear that many secondary schools have experienced extreme disruption as a result of the Omicron variant - particularly in the first half of January - in relation to both student and teacher absences. 

“This package of measures is designed to ensure our learners are fully supported in their learning and preparations for the exams this year.”


Read about the Scottish Qualifications Authority’s contingencies and measures to support learners. This includes an overview of the existing modifications and the planned revision support for each subject.

These measures have been developed in close consultation with members of the National Qualifications Group, including the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES); Colleges Scotland; Education Scotland; Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS); National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS); School Leaders Scotland (SLS); Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS); Scottish Government; Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA); Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP).


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