AN MSP drew gasps from Holyrood after she answered "no, I do not agree" to the question on child safety.

Sharon Dowey stunned her colleagues in the Scottish Parliament after SNP MSP Kaukab Stewart answered questions over when school exams will take place.

The Tories are demanding that a decision on school exams be taken "today".

Speaking about the decision on when school exams will be held, Stewart said: "The safety of our children is the most paramount thing - surely the (Tory) Member agrees?"

READ MORE: MSPs vote down Scottish Tories' 'highly irresponsible' education motion

Dewey replied: "No, I don’t agree - I think we should be told today.”

It comes after the Tories tabled a motion claiming "education has never been the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s number one priority”.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Scotland's Education Secretary, labelled the Tory motion "highly irresponsible".

Speaking in Holyrood, Dewey said: "Shirley-Anne Somerville has said contingencies are needed but we need to get contingencies to ensure that we do all we can to keep schools open and to make sure that exams take place.

"She said that it was her firm intention that they went ahead but we are looking for a commitment today so that the schools can plan ahead and make sure they know that they are going ahead. 

"It will give clarity to teachers, parents and pupils."

Stewart then asked: "Can I just ask, I have listened many times to the assurances. 

"Is the member still not assured that a commitment has been given that exams can go ahead unless the public health advice at that time goes against that.

"The safety of our children is the most paramount thing - surely the member agrees?"

The National: 4th Year pupils sitting there P.E exam at Williamwood High School...NEWSQUEST MEDIA GROUP..2005.

The Conservatives are demanding a concrete answer on when school exams will take place

Dewey responded: "No, I don't agree. I think we should be told today.

"A decision that could take up to another three months isn't going to be any good so we need to get a decision just now so the schools can plan ahead.

"They're already planning to have exams but pupils need to take away the anxiety. They need to know how the exams are going to go ahead."

Two contingency plans were announced in August by the Scottish Qualifications Authority in case Covid-19 continues to create issues in education.

READ MORE: Omicron wave led to 5 per cent of teachers being absent, education official warns

The first allows the Scottish Government to make amendments to assessments if the pandemic causes interruptions to learning, but public health officials say exams can go ahead.

The Education Secretary has said caution was still needed when approaching exams while Scotland continues to battle Covid.

She said: “As I’ve repeatedly set out since the beginning of this term, it is our firm intention for exams to take place.

“But it would be highly irresponsible to ignore the possibility, however exceptionally remote that we hope it will be, of the pandemic worsening therefore we have a robust contingency should the public health conditions make exams impossible.”