PUPILS are being “discriminated” against by Scotland’s system of qualifications, it has been claimed.

Teachers said pupils who sat National 4 subjects did not value it because there was no final exam.

When National 4s were introduced in 2014 as part of the scrapping of Standard Grade examiners said they would be seen as the equal of other qualifications – despite being internally assessed.

However, teachers and parents have warned the qualification had led to groups of pupils viewing themselves as “second class citizens” compared to the more advanced National 5 which has an exam.

Figures published last summer showed the number of pupils sitting National 4 qualifications is in freefall.

The annual general meeting of the EIS teaching union heard calls for a final exam to be introduced to restore the reputation of National 4.

Gordon Black, from the EIS Dundee branch, said National 4 candidates felt marginalised at times of the school year when other pupils were preparing for exams.

“National 4 lacks sufficient demand, fails to sufficiently differentiate between candidates of different abilities and marginalises candidates at different times of the year.”

John Swinburne, from the Edinburgh branch, said “overwhelmingly” teachers and pupils did not value National 4.

“They think it is discriminatory as a method of assessment, they feel undervalued and they want it to change,” he said.

Alan Crosby, also from Edinburgh, said National 4 had to be reformed, adding: “I’m no fan of exams, but we have to move to a position where we are reforming National 4.”

David Baxter, from the Dundee branch, said: “There is a lack of recognition of the value of the National 4 qualification and that is partly to do with the way it is structured and assessed.”

However, Sonia Kordiak, from the Edinburgh branch, defended the current position.

She said: “My own experience as an English teacher is that National 4 pupils do value it. It meets the needs of particular pupils in my school in an area of multiple deprivation.

“National 4 is valued by parents, pupils and teachers. It would be illogical for us as a union to seek to have an exam type assessment when we are being critical of standardised national assessments.”