School pupils will sit exams in Scotland this year, says Swinney

The deputy first minister confirmed the first full diet since 2019 will go ahead as planned.

School pupils will sit exams in Scotland this year, says John Swinney iStock

School pupils in Scotland will sit exams this year, the deputy first minister, John Swinney, has said, despite high absence rates due to Covid.

Speaking before the Covid-19 Recovery Committee, Swinney confirmed the first full diet since 2019 will go ahead as planned.

In January, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the latest a decision could be made on assessments was the end of March, although it was her “firm intention” for the diet to go ahead as planned.

“The exam diet will go ahead, and that’s the approach that has been taken,” Swinney said in response to Tory MSP, Murdo Fraser.

On March 22, Scottish Government figures show, some 27,015 pupils were not in schools as a result of Covid-19.

While a total of 5815 staff were absent on the same day.

The new BA.2 strain of the Omicron variant has contributed to a spike in cases, which the First Minister said on Wednesday appears to be levelling off.

When asked what support can be offered to pupils forced to miss exams because of the virus, Mr Swinney, who is self-isolating after testing positive for the virus, said: “There are routine arrangements in place to address the implications of that on a pupil by pupil basis and no pupil will be disadvantaged by those arrangements.”

He added: “The Scottish Qualifications Authority will work with individual schools to make sure that no pupil is disadvantaged in that respect.”

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