The EIS has welcomed the fact that a decision has been made on next year’s Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications but has indicated that agreement must be reached on appropriate recognition of the additional workload required in any alternative assessment programme.

Commenting EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The EIS has every confidence in the ability of teachers to make professional judgements based on pupil evidence and in the circumstances believes that cancelling the exam diet in favour of an alternative model is the correct decision, one which could have been made earlier."

"We have raised repeatedly, however, the additional workload burden which this will generate and made clear that teachers should not be treated as unpaid SQA markers. The Deputy First Minister’s commitment, therefore, to make additional payments to teachers is welcome but the devil will be in the detail. The EIS will engage further with the Scottish Government on this matter."

Mr Flanagan added, "Today’s announcement acknowledges the significant level of disruption that students have faced during the pandemic."

"It is essential that all possible steps are taken to ensure that no young person is unfairly disadvantaged as a result of becoming ill or being required to self-isolate due to COVID-19. Given the significant impact of the pandemic on many young people, particularly those from less advantaged backgrounds, today’s announcement is a common-sense decision that is in the best interests of students."