A decision on the cancellation of 2020/21 exams should be made before Christmas, according to reports. 

Education Secretary is expected to make an announcement on the exam diet plans after the issue is debated by the Covid-19 Education Recovery Group next week, the Scotsman reports. 

It is understood the recovery group met this week to discuss an extension to the Christmas holiday period for pupils. 

The decision reportedly will come this Christmas to allow for schools to prepare for alternative assessments in the scenario exams are cancelled. 

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A Scottish Government spokesman told the Scotsman: “Our ambition remains for Higher and Advanced Higher exams to proceed if possible. It must, however, be safe to do so and it must be fair to learners.

"We are monitoring the position closely and listening to all the different views.

“The Deputy First Minister has been clear that the latest point at which a decision will be taken is the February break, which is more than three months before the exams are due to begin. He has also been clear that he will make a decision sooner if the evidence is pointing to that.

“Contingency plans are being drawn up to ensure fair and consistent awarding for Higher and Advanced Higher courses should exams not be possible.”

A SQA spokesman assured a clear contingency plan for the Higher exams has already been developed. 

He said: “Plans are continuing in preparation for Higher and Advanced Higher exams starting on 10 May 2021.

“A clear contingency plan is being developed as part of the work being undertaken by the National Qualifications Group 2021, including key checkpoints up to the February break to assess public health advice and its impact on the plans for exams. The decision on whether an exams diet goes ahead will be for Scottish Ministers.

“Since September, we have engaged with more than 450 teaching professionals and local authority representatives to understand the challenges they are facing and to discuss contingency arrangements for session 2020-21. We are also engaging with parents, carers and learners and have established a learner panel.”