IT REMAINS the Scottish Government’s “firm intention” to hold exams – despite concerns from a local MSP that schoolchildren and parents were continuing “to be left in the dark”.

Craig Hoy, who represents South Scotland, called on the Scottish Government to guarantee that every pupil in the county would be able to sit national school exams this year as planned.

Now, the Scottish Government has confirmed that is the intention – unless public health advice says otherwise.

Mr Hoy, who also represents the Haddington and Lammermuir ward on East Lothian Council, said: “The SNP must assure every pupil in East Lothian that they will be able to sit their exams this year as planned.

“Another year of exam chaos is unthinkable given the uncertainty pupils have endured over the last couple of years.

“Our young people, teachers and parents cannot be left in the dark until the end of March.

“That is far too late to be making a decision.

“Pupils in East Lothian deserve a return to a normal school experience, rather than having exams cancelled year after year.”

Coronavirus restrictions meant that there were no formal National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher exams last year or in 2020.

Instead, teachers at secondary schools across the country were asked to put forward grades based on in-class assessments.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Scotland’s education secretary, confirmed £4 million would be used to support schools and colleges providing targeted exam preparation sessions for students who need it most over the Easter break.

She 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.”