Balfour criticises The Scottish Government for heightening anxiety among Highers pupils following announcement of exams being cancelled.

Lothian MSP Jeremy Balfour, has expressed concern over The Scottish Government’s delayed decision to cancel Higher exams in 2021, highlighting that youngsters have been left feeling anxious about the future.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Education Secretary Jamie Greene had been calling on the SNP Education Secretary to make a decision on the exams for weeks, yet John Swinney decided to leave parents, teachers and pupils in the dark until well into the school calendar year.

Mr Balfour has reported that parents and pupils from across Lothian have contacted him to express anger at the decision to cancel exams and about the confusion surrounding the assessment process that is replacing the already cancelled National 5s.

Jeremy Balfour MSP

The Scottish Conservative MSP said: “I have received a large number of emails from worried pupils and parents who, rightfully so, are angry at The Scottish Government’s decision to cancel exams in the middle of the school year.

“It is not good enough that – despite weeks of calls from the Scottish Conservatives to make a decision – the Education Minister has only made his decision this week regarding Higher exams, and that the assessment process for National 5s is still yet to be clarified.

“Pupils have been left feeling even more anxious about their future and, as Mr Swinney has recognised himself, it is our poorest students that are going to be impacted the most by changes to the education system this year. 

“The SNP must start to prioritise the educational needs of our young people and ensure that no young person is disadvantaged by the cancellation of exams.”