EXAMS for 15 and 16-year-old pupils in Scotland are set to be scrapped as the education system is set for reform.

Typically in high school, pupils face graded exams in fourth, fifth and sixth year – but a review is expected to recommend ditching the programme required to achieve National 5 qualifications at the end of fourth year.

They will be judged on coursework, alongside a "Scottish Diploma" which factors in extra-curricular activities – such as Duke of Edinburgh, Scouts or Girl Guides – sports or volunteering, The Times has reported.

Highers are expected to remain for those in fifth and sixth year, who wish to apply to university.

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The review is led by Louise Hayward, an expert on assessment at the University of Edinburgh, the recommendations are expected within the next fortnight before the summer holiday.

A teaching union has advised caution over the plans, with the worry that students wouldn't be ready for their Higher exams.

Mike Corbett, Scottish official for the teaching union the NASUWT, said: "They want to move towards more of an exit type of exam.

"Because most kids no longer leave in S4, most of them would not do exams unless they were leaving.

"If you only have exams in S6, that has a lot of danger.

"It becomes very, very high stakes because you only ever sit one set of exams just before you leave and you have not had any practice.”

Corbett also warned about the class divide over a former "Scottish diploma" with extracurricular activities only available for those who can afford it.

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Emeritus professor of educational policy Lindsay Paterson described ditching exams as an "absolute revolution".

Parents were previously left "sceptical of any assessment system that does not have an external exam” after National 4 reforms, he said.

Professor Paterson also stressed that exams help pupils prepare for progression into higher education such as studying at college or university.

Paterson added: “At the moment coursework is unfairly influenced by the condition of people’s homes. If you have an opportunity to talk about your coursework at home you in are in a better position to do well and that means there is a bias.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Professor Hayward’s final report will be published shortly.

"The recommendations will be carefully considered and the Scottish Government will respond in due course.”