IT IS SUMMER holiday season for local schools and I would like to thank our teachers, support staff and the pupils themselves.

In recent months, staff have worked tirelessly to bring some degree of normality back to classrooms – even when the situation around them has been anything but normal.

As the recent surge in Covid infections shows, we are not out of the woods yet. Our infection rates remain stubbornly high and I would encourage everyone to follow the guidance.

Despite the ongoing Covid situation, schools in East Lothian have done their level best to get in-school teaching and learning back up and running. This has allowed parents and pupils to start to build some routine back into their hectic lives.

Sadly, the SNP Government has not risen to the same challenge.

At Holyrood, I was shocked by the complacency shown by ministers as they finally published the damning OECD report into education standards on their watch.

Ministers shamefully spent months sitting on the report, which they knew all too well would reveal that the education and examination system in Scotland was not fit for purpose.

I welcome the Government’s decision to scrap the Scottish Qualifications Authority and I hope that ministers use the summer to reflect on how we got to this parlous position.

Too often, the Government attempts to bury bad news, hide difficult facts or sets up working groups to avoid taking tough decisions. Ministers need to come up with clear and concrete proposals on the future of exams. They must give pupils, parents and education staff full, timely and transparent information about the future of educational assessment.

To do anything else would be a dereliction of duty to the next generation of young people here.