During SQA Main Diet Exams

During the SQA Exam Diet, it is most important, in the interests of all candidates, that the examinations take place in a calm and orderly atmosphere.  This can be achieved if everyone involved fully understands the arrangements.  I hope that parents, carers and pupils will find the following outline of our school arrangements helpful.

Where to study

All S4/5/6 pupils have study leave during the entire exam period.  During this time, pupils should stay at home in order to study.   If you do not wish your child to have study leave at home please write to your child’s Head of House (Depute Rector) as soon as possible.  Pupils who come in to school on a day when they have no examinations MUST “sign in” at reception on arrival and “sign out” when they leave.  This is essential to comply with Health and Safety regulations.  On days when pupils study at home, they must be at home and not around the school or village streets.  Any pupils found to be abusing “study leave” in this way will be instructed to return to school immediately and parents will be informed.


Balfron High School has a very clear policy on the wearing of School Uniform.  SQA exams take place in the school environment and the standards that we expect from our pupils are unchanged.  Pupils must attend all their exams wearing full school uniform and behave in the positive manner that we would normally expect.

Bus travel

Pupils may travel home after an examination has finished provided they have safe means of transport.

Please note that Balfron High start and finish times may not be the same as the SQA’s.  In some cases, exams may start a little earlier to make our times fit with the buses.  In other cases, exams may finish after the buses have left school and alternative travel arrangements will be essential.  Parents are asked to check all examination times carefully.

Examination times and seating arrangements

Lists of examination times and of candidate names for all examinations will be posted daily in the atrium.  All pupils will be issued with their individualised exam timetable along with a parental letter. It is important that each candidate notes his/her seat number and arrives at the examination room at least 10 minutes before the exam is due to start.  Each pupil’s individualised timetable will give their precise start and finish times.  This is particularly important for those who have extra time added on, as this may be at the end of the exam for a morning start, or at the beginning of the exam for an afternoon start.

  • Candidates should be aware that there may be some minor alterations made to exam rooming during the exam diet.  Any such changes will be brought to their attention by the SQA Coordinator (Mr Slavin) or an SQA Invigilator.

Candidates must normally remain in the exam room for the full duration of the examination..  It can be very distracting for others if candidates leave an exam room before time is up.  The invigilator’s decision on allowing candidates to leave the room, is final.


If a candidate is unable to attend school to sit an examination because of illness, it is important that the parent / carer notifies the school on the day by telephone – and, by the following day, obtains a Doctor’s Certificate which should be handed in or sent to the School Office.

Mobile Phones and Malpractice

The SQA take all incidents of malpractice very seriously indeed.  This may involve cheating, or use of unauthorised calculators or any type of mobile phone or smart watch.  As the school cannot be held responsible for the safe-keeping of mobile phones, I ask you to ensure that the pupils’ phones remain at home, or switched off and locked inside their locker.  All pupils were made fully aware of this during the Prelim Diet, and will be reminded once again during assemblies prior to the Main SQA Diet.  Each year, all SQA candidates are issued with a copy of the SQA guides “Your National Qualifications Coursework”” and “Your Exams”. It is essential that candidates and their parents read these fully.

Further “on the day” advice can be found on the SQA site here.

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