Students have been left devastated and worried over their futures after all exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

After the announcement all schools in Ayrshire will close, they also made the decision SQA exams would be cancelled.

Fifth and sixth year pupils across the region had been working towards Higher and National 5 exams, the results of which are the gateway to higher education.

Pupils’ final grades will now be measured on their coursework, teacher assessments and predicted grades.

Sixth year pupil Luis Laird, who was accepted into Glasgow University to study Theoretical Physics said: “I am quite concerned for other people who were studying towards grades that they needed to be able to go to university”.

Sixth year Nicole Fulton, who has a conditional offer to study social sciences at Kilmarnock College said she is concerned she won’t get the qualifications she needs.

Fifth year Aimee Greenway, from Auchenharvie Academy, Saltcoats, said: “I’m quite disappointed as I have been studying a lot to try and achieve the grades I wanted and now I won’t get the chance to prove myself”.

Aimee’s mother has also expressed her concerns: “I am a bit worried her predicted grades won’t be a true reflection of what she would have got if she had the chance to do the exam.

“I just hope the teachers know what the students are capable of and have the evidence to prove it”.

John Swinney education secretary said protecting the health of students was more important and everything was being done to give them the ‘best outcome’.

Dionne Mcgrory, 17, said: “It’s a weight lifted off our shoulders, but we have worked really hard and now all of our effort has gone down the drain.”

Erin Hodge from Irvine, said: “I am really upset and feel like all my hard work has gone to waste.”

College students working towards university are also affected.

An Ayrshire College student in Ayr said: “I’m worried about whether the exam results will be based on class work because I’ve worked hard since my last prelim and I won’t get the mark I feel I deserve now”.

For final year students, last Friday could have been their final day of school.

Fifth year Sophie Bell, from Cumnock Academy said: “I think it’s had a massive impact on our future as that might have been people’s last chance to get those qualifications.

“People may have needed them to get their dream jobs and that may not happen now.

“Some people improve drastically between now and the exam timetable and overall, I’m really disappointed.

“I have no idea what to expect on my SQA certificate this year.”