THE CHIEF of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association has called for teachers to assess pupils without having to undergo exams.

The plea has come after all schools across Scotland are set to close by the end of the week in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Seamus Searson, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association, has called to education leaders not to “dream up something new” to tackle the exams problem.

Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland, he said: “It’s something we were expecting. Schools have been struggling for the last while or so to actually maintain a service.

“It’s something we should have been planning for before now.”

Also speaking on the programme, Education Secretary John Swinney admitted it would be “difficult” for pupils to sit National and Higher tests at schools across the country.

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He said a delay on final exams or “alternative certification” methods based on coursework and/or prelims were also being considered.

Mr Searson said pupils should not have more pressure put on them.

He said: “We need to give them some reassurance to young people what’s going to happen.

“We need to say to them, once you have completed your studies that’s the end, we will find a way to give you your qualification.”

He added: “They have done most of the work – they are ready to be assessed. Why not use the teachers’ judgement?

“On this particular occasion, don’t put any more stress on the young people.

“Just say, complete the work you are doing now. That will be assessed by the teachers.”

Mr Swinney will address MSPs this afternoon and is expected to lay out details on how the school closures will work.