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Scottish National 5 exams to be cancelled in 2021

November 13, 2020

Original Article:,%22too%20big%20a%20risk%22.

National 5 exams are to be cancelled in Scotland in 2021 and replaced with teacher assessments and coursework.

Education Secretary John Swinney said going ahead with all exams during the continuing Covid pandemic was "too big a risk".

Higher and Advanced Higher exams will go ahead as usual - but will start on 13 May, two weeks later than planned.

The move came as new restrictions were imposed across Scotland in response to a sharp rise in new coronavirus cases.

Schools are to remain open but Mr Swinney said it was likely students would still face disruption - meaning an "alternative approach" was needed.

He said National 5 qualifications - which account for about half of all exams sat in Scotland and are roughly equivalent to GCSEs in England - would be judged on "teacher judgement supported by assessment".

Opposition parties have been split on whether exams should go ahead, with the Greens calling for them to be axed entirely - but the Scottish Conservatives saying Mr Swinney had "thrown in the towel".

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