The Scottish Government’s u-turn on exam results is being celebrated by pupils, parents and teachers.
Morgan-Leigh Ritchie, 17, of Buckhaven, was among youngsters affected, awarded Ds when she expected Bs and Cs.
Her mum Nicola said the former Levenmouth Academy pupil was “over the moon” at the withdrawal of the adjusted marks.
She said: “My daughter is now going to get the grades she deserves. She’s absolutely made up.
“It should never have happened in the first place, but it was dealt with quickly, at least it’s not been a long, drawn out process.
My daughter is now going to get the grades she deserves.”
Nicola Ritchie, Buckhaven
“All these poor kids have had a week of worry but now it’s over.”
Morgan-Leigh has a confirmed place to study at Fife College before going on to the University of the West of Scotland next year but many youngsters depended on grades to get into university.
After exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus teachers were asked to submit estimates of pupils’ grades based on their work throughout the year.
However, a factor in the SQA’s moderation process was schools’ historic performance, which led to a 15% gap between the actual and estimated pass rate for children in the most deprived areas, compared to 7% for those in the least deprived areas.
Teachers’ union the EIS welcomed what it said was the “upholding of teacher professional judgement” in the Deputy First Minister’s statement in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday and the short term inquiry into this year’s awards process to be led by Professor Mark Priestley.
General secretary Larry Flanagan said: “During lockdown, teachers were extremely diligent in making professional judgements on pupil estimates, based on a range of evidence, and even went the extra mile asked of them by the SQA in subdividing bandings and ranking pupil performance, despite concerns about the need for such.
“The EIS subsequently warned that overturning these estimates by means of statistical modelling on the part of the SQA would lead to an outcry – exactly as has happened.
The SQA should be less accountable to the Scottish Government and more accountable to the teaching profession, parents and pupils.”
Larry Flanagan, EIS general secretary
“We urged the SQA to hold professional dialogue with centres where apparent anomalies were evident, but it refused to do so – preferring to focus instead on its own perceived profile as custodians of standards.
“Its standing amongst teachers is undoubtedly tarnished by its role in these matters.
“The SQA should be less accountable to the Scottish Government and more accountable to the teaching profession, parents and pupils.”
He also claimed the current assumption of “business as usual” for next year’s exams “seems woefully complacent” and added: “Scotland’s young people and their teachers must not suffer the same fiasco again.”
New results by end of next week
The SQA said it acknowledged the strength of feeling about last week’s results among families and those in the education profession.
Chief executive Fiona Robertson said: “Schools and colleges already have the estimate information that will form the basis of the amended results, but we will work to ensure that centres receive their confirmed results as soon as possible and no later than the end of next week.
“Any candidate who has a grade changed as a result of this, will receive a new certificate.
“Confirmed results will also be shared with UCAS.
“We are considering in more detail, with the Scottish Government, any appeals process which should support this direction and will announce further details very shortly.”
She also said the SQA would cooperate fully with the review process.