John Swinney has told teachers he is "sympathetic" to pivoting Scotland's education system away from exit exams and towards ongoing assessment.

But he said a "wider discussion" about the issue would be needed after next month's Holyrood election.

Mr Swinney was speaking during an online hustings event hosted on Thursday evening by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the country's largest teaching union.

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With concern continuing to grow about assessment pressures faced by pupils under this year's alternative certification model, there is a growing debate about whether traditional exams are appropriate and fair.

Mr Swinney, who is Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, said: "There's very clearly a range of valid alternative approaches to exit exams and I would say that's a discussion and a debate that we have to have as a society in terms of the right approach to exams for exit purposes.

"I am very sympathetic to more being reflected in... ongoing assessment but that's a wider discussion we have to have as an education system."