Highland Council have assured parents and pupils that study leave will continue to be available for those sitting exams. In the wake of changes to national qualifications, Highland Council are examining the arrangements for high school pupils study leave, with a report due to be made at the start of February. A council spokesperson said: "Last year, there was understandable comment from pupils and parents because these arrangements had not been updated, including criticism that study leave was available to pupils who were not sitting examinations. "Accordingly, a working group of a head teachers has been considering the matter, and will report in early February. The group has made some initial recommendations, but these need further revision and there will be a consultation exercise with all schools." They added that there would continue to be provision for study leave, either at home or in school, with pupils sitting any combination of Highers, Advanced Highers and National 5 allocated the maximum preparation time. Where pupils are involved in qualifications that do not involve an end of course examination it is expected they will continue with classwork. Jim Steven, head of education with Highland Council added: “The head teachers’ group has further work to complete, and this will involve staff, parents and pupils, but I hope this gives pupils and parents clarity and reassurance that there will continue to be preparation time for the examinations in 2015 and the future.” The fact that the council were looking at study leave provision has led to some concern among Highland pupils, with petitions such as "Save Our Study Leave" circulating on change.org The petition, which has gathered 1,358 signatures, states: "With the Highland Council considering not giving out study leave this year, pupils could miss out on achieving top grades."