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BBC Scotland's Kenneth Macdonald reports
"The reforms have a had a troubled start"
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Education Correspondent Kenneth Macdonald
"Questions have been asked whether employers will understand the new certificates"
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Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
D-day for Scottish pupils
Boys sitting exams
Exam time is a fraught time for youngsters
For thousands of Scottish school pupils the long wait is over and their exams are getting under way.

The introduction of new National Qualifications means the exams are starting slightly later this year and the timetable is more crowded.

The Higher Still reforms mean old-style Highers are giving way to new National Qualifications, while Standard Grades continue as before.


Exam sign
Changes under way in exam system

The Scottish Qualifications Authority says they will be the same standard as the old Highers, with more exacting Advanced Highers due next year.

But the reforms have had a troubled start and some of the new Highers - including English - will not be ready until next year.

Some teachers are continuing to resist internal assessment and pupils have complained the timetable is too crowded.

The SQA admits there have been teething troubles with the new system, but it says they will not stop students from sitting their exams.

As youngsters get ready to sit their papers both Scottish Executive ministers Sam Galbraith and Henry McLeish have sent them their best wishes.

'Exciting opportunities'

Education Minister Mr Galbraith said: "We would like to wish students in schools and further education colleges all the best of luck with their forthcoming exams."

Mr McLeish, the Minister for Lifelong Learning, added: "The Scottish economy is changing every day as new technologies like the internet revolutionise the way we do business.

"These changes present exciting new job opportunities to young people in Scotland.

"Students in schools and further education colleges sitting their exams are the people who will help to drive the Scottish economy to a successful and vibrant future."

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See also:

15 May 00 | Scotland
Pupil sets site on exams
01 Jul 99 | UK Systems
Scotland
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