EDUCATION Secretary Jenny Gilruth said that school exams may look “radically different” in the future ahead of a curriculum overhaul.

The announcement comes after the Hayward Independent Review, commissioned by the Scottish Government to examine the future of assessment in the nation’s schools, said the current exam system is no longer fit for purpose.

A final version of the report by Louise Hayward, professor of educational assessment and innovation at the University of Glasgow, is set to be released in May.

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Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth, when asked about the report, told Good Morning Scotland: “I’m not sure I would say it’s unmanageable but I think a good teacher uses a range of different assessment methods throughout the school year, and it’s important that pupils are assessed throughout the school year using continuous assessment.

“And I think that gives pupils a better preparation in relation to a final qualification and a final exam.

“Let’s remember as well that Professor Hayward is not recommending that we move away necessarily from the final exam, it’s just in the future that may look radically different.

“I think the system that we have in place now is a good one and I want to put on record again my best wishes to pupils and learners, of course, who will be sitting many of them formal examinations for the very first time today as I know we have a range of qualifications today being sat in PE and Mandarin.

“And I would also like to say thank you to our teachers, who support our young people throughout the year, who are vital to the examination process.”

The report also proposed the introduction of a Scottish diploma of achievement – a qualification or graduation certificate that would provide evidence of pupils’ achievements.

Around 130,000 candidates are expected to sit National 5’s, Highers and Advanced Highers on Monday in subjects ranging from chemistry and English to art and design and environmental science.

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For those pupils taking subjects such as drama, health and food technology and PE, the performance and practical elements of the assessments have been taking place over the last several weeks.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) plans to set exams back to pre-pandemic norms next year, with this year being the last any modifications will be made to reduce disruption caused by the Covid pandemic.

However, parent groups say some young people are feeling the pressure due to teacher strikes and are worried about catching up.

The exams period will end on Thursday June 1, with the candidates expected to get their results on August 8.