Mar 6 2012
The national body for education is to carry out an audit to check how prepared schools are for the introduction of its new exams.
Education Secretary Michael Russell said that Education Scotland inspectors will visit every local authority to assess readiness over the next month.
The move follows recent concerns over the introduction of new National 4 and 5 exams, being brought in as part of the Curriculum for Excellence, to replace Standard Grade and Intermediate qualifications from 2013/14.
The Scottish Secondary Teachers Association said it was "hugely concerned that things are not going to be ready in time" and that the new system "hugely reduces" the number of subjects pupils can study at exam level.
East Renfrewshire Council has already said it will postpone the introduction by a year.
Speaking during an appearance at Holyrood's Education Committee, Mr Russell said the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) had stated that delaying the exams was "simply not viable", and he did not believe that such a move would be in the best interests of pupils.
He added: "The majority of teachers are telling me: don't delay. Don't disrupt our pupils' learning.
"But some are saying they need more support to be ready, and I understand that. I always have and I always will listen and respond to teachers' concerns.
"This is why I have asked Education Scotland to go to every local authority and confirm that their schools are ready to proceed.
"If there is any doubt or lack of confidence within a school, the first step will be to provide whatever support is necessary."