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Pressure on pupils increased with new exams

PUPILS have been placed under significant additional pressure as a result of the roll-out of Scotland's new school exams, according to a new survey.

Glasgow City Council asked pupils at three of its secondary schools for their views on the new National qualifications, which replaced Standard Grades this summer.

A report to the council's education committee concluded that all pupils had coped with greater assessment loads - even if they were sitting fewer subjects.

Worryingly, it even suggested some pupils had been put off studying for Highers because of their experiences in fourth year.

The findings were published just weeks after the Scottish Government announced a review into the exams' implementation.

A working group is being set up to look at the difficulties schools have experienced in introducing the National 4 and National 5 qualifications to ensure lessons are learned in time for the implementation of new Highers next summer.

The council report states: "Much has been written.... about teachers' workload and stress as a result of the new qualifications being introduced in 2014, but no mention has been made about the burden being placed on our young people.

"Even though the number of subjects has reduced to seven, the amount of assessment is significantly more than would have been expected for Standard Grades."

The paper described the suggestion by one teacher that talented pupils were dropping out of art and design after the stress of studying National 5 was "worrying".

This year, the annual general meeting of the Educational Institute of Scotland heard that pupils were taking more than 40 assessments.

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