Planned strike action that threatened to delay exam appeals has been suspended after an enhanced pay offer was tabled.

Bosses at the Unite union warned previously that the move by Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) staff would "severely" affect requests for grade reviews following the 2022 diet – the first since 2019.

Strikes were planned for various days this month and next, with an overtime ban also in place. Walkouts had already taken place on September 8.

However, the action has now been halted so new pay proposals can be put to union members in a consultative ballot.

SQA bosses said the offer would mean an overall average consolidated increase, excluding pay progression, of 5.9 per cent. They added that the award's overall average value would rise to 7.2% once pay progression is included.  

Alison MacLean, Unite industrial officer, said: “We welcome the revised pay offer from the SQA.

“However, our members should never have been put in this situation in the first place. The dispute has escalated to the point of strike action taking place for the first time in the organisation’s history due to the dithering and procrastinating by both the Scottish Government and SQA.

“This has caused unnecessary stress and anxiety to the workforce but also the learners of Scotland when this dispute could have been resolved months ago.”

The SQA has stressed that the overall value of its latest offer, excluding pay progression, is equivalent to 5.8% of the staff salaries bill. 

A spokeswoman added: "Following constructive discussions with both our trade unions and the Scottish Government, we are pleased that industrial action has now been suspended whilst our trade unions ballot their members on the improved pay offer.

"The revised pay offer made today recognises the contribution of our hard-working staff and we hope union members will accept the offer. Our job now is to get on with the important work of delivering for learners.”