PUPILS will receive extra revision support ahead of this year’s exams due to the level of disruption caused by the Omicron coronavirus wave, the Education Secretary has announced.

Shirley-Anne Somerville said the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) was now moving to its Scenario 2 planning, meaning the majority of pupils will receive support for one or more of their courses from early March.

However, opposition politicians said the measure was “too little, too late”, calling for the revision support to begin earlier.

Somerville updated MSPs in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

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She said: “While the number of full and partial school closures has been small, it is clear that many secondary schools have experienced extreme disruption in the wave of the Omicron variant, particularly in the first half of January, in relation to both student and teacher absences.”

She continued: “Given both the level of disruption and its impact on learning and teaching, the SQA board has now taken the decision to invoke the Scenario 2 contingency measure and the SQA will provide revision support to aid learners in the preparations for exams.”

Somerville also set out the process for pupils who faced exceptional circumstances and could not complete exams, saying schools would gather evidence based on the coursework they had produced.

Scottish Conservative MSP, Meghan Gallacher, responded, saying: “These plans are too little too late.

“The Scottish Government is setting out its contingencies without releasing the equality and children’s rights assessment so that can be fully scrutinised by parliament.”

Recent reports suggested 80% of pupils had not received a free digital device, she said, calling for the revision support to start earlier.

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The Education Secretary said the SQA was publishing details on the revision support it would offer.

Scottish Labour’s Michael Marra said: “There is much to welcome in this statement, extraordinarily late though it is.”

He continued: “It is unfathomable that the Government refuses to conduct serious research to measure the impact of lost learning and to develop a plan with resources that match the scale of the challenge.”

Somerville said the Government would keep a “close eye” on statistics relating to educational attainment.