Tens of thousands of pupils are set to see their exam results improved after the Scottish government agreed to accept teachers’ score estimates.
The government’s turnaround follows an outcry from students after a moderation system saw 125,000 estimated results downgraded.
Any results that were downgraded will now be removed and replaced with the original estimates.
This decision affects around 75,000 students across Scotland.
It was claimed that many students saw their results downgraded because they came from less affluent areas.
Education Secretary John Swinney said he was sorry for the “feeling of injustice” caused by the downgrading, adding that it was “deeply regrettable that we were wrong.”
Mr Swinney said the government hopes to learn lessons for the future.
Opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament are pushing for a vote of no confidence in Mr Swinney Holyrood, with Labor and Tories calling on him to resign.
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The coronavirus lockdown saw all of Scotland’s school exams canceled for the first time, with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) developing a new system to calculate results.
This was to be based on the teachers’ estimates for each of their students, based on their work during the school year.
But these estimates were then fed by an SQA moderation system, which downgraded the grades awarded by teachers to bring them closer to previous years.
This sparked an uproar from students, especially when it emerged that the higher pass rate for students from poorer backgrounds was reduced by 15.2 percentage points, but only 6.9 points. percentage for the richest students.
Mr Swinney admitted there was “obvious anger and frustration on the part of young people and their families” about it, saying it had “left many young people feeling that their future was determined by the statistical modeling rather than by their own capabilities ”.
He said he would order the SQA to reissue the grades “solely on the basis of the judgment of teachers or lecturers,” saying new certificates would be issued and the university admissions body would be notified in order that requests can be processed.
Premier Nicola Sturgeon had previously said accepting teachers’ estimates without moderation would lead to an exceptionally high pass rate compared to previous years, which she said would not be “credible”.
She said that a 20 percentage point increase in the success rate of students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds could “risk compromising the integrity of the whole system.”
However, during her coronavirus briefing on Tuesday, she said that concern was “outweighed” by the risk that students would think the system was “against them.”
Mr Swinney echoed this, saying: ‘We were concerned that grade inflation by accepting teachers’ initial estimate might run the risk of undermining the value of qualifications in 2020.