WATCH: Reaction to cancelled exams and school closures

Teachers, students and parents have taken to social media to react to the cancellation of exams and premature end of the school year

Henry Hepburn

Disadvantaged students will be the biggest losers in the new exams system

The coronavirus outbreak has led to a momentous two days for Scottish education, with the decision to close schools followed just over 24 hours later by the cancellation of exams.

There has already been a huge reaction on social media. Here is a flavour of what educators and students have been saying.

Secondary teacher John Naples-Campbell posted a video shortly after the education secretary announced this afternoon that exams would be cancelled, a move that even two world wars had not managed to force before.

Mr Naples-Campbell said schools were in "uncharted waters" but that it was the "just and correct decision". He admitted, however, that he was nervous for students in subjects such as drama, dance and music, as practical exams accounted for 60 per cent of their grade, which thousands of students had already sat or were due to sit soon.

In another video message, Fife student Bailey-Lee Robb, who is a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said secondary pupils should take the next few days to "switch off and process" the news that schools were closing and exams being cancelled.

There is a lot of disappointment that S6 and P7 pupils will not be able to mark leaving school in the way they had hoped, although some schools, such as Blairgowrie High, have managed to mark an occasion that appears to have come more than three months earlier than expected.

Similarly, P7s at Victoria Primary in Edinburgh overcame their disappointment about a cancelled camp to replicate the experience as best they could on school grounds. Meanwhile, Belhaven Hill School, in East Lothian, had a very early Easter egg hunt.

Many schools, teachers and parents are sharing some of their preparations for home learning, which will start in thousands of households on Monday, although schools will still operate in some form for vulnerable pupils and key professionals such as doctors, nurses and police.

And while there was a lot of sadness about the events of the past two days – and concern about the wellbeing of both students and staff – there was a groundswell of confidence that teachers would rise to this historic challenge.


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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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