Commenting on this week’s SQA exam results, Jackie Baillie MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh said: “After the challenges of a school year like no other, the pupils in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute can feel proud over how they have risen to the challenges of the pandemic.

“Pass rates are up, and I congratulate all the pupils who have worked so hard, and their teachers who faced a mammoth task of assessment.

“It is clear though that too many young people have been hit hard by the SQA’s so called “moderation”.  Too many have seen their results lowered, often with passes turned into fails, damaging their prospects for university or college.

“Worst of all, the SQA have done this on the basis of each school’s past performance, marking the school not the pupil, and baking in the attainment gap.  By simply downgrading students results based on their school, ignoring their teacher’s professional judgement means that the SQA has singularly failed to recognise individual academic achievement and has penalised pupils from working class areas rather than more affluent areas. That is a complete scandal.

“The Scottish Government were told that this system of moderation would be grossly unfair and it is. It’s a scandal that they are treating students so poorly and the professional judgement of  teachers’ with contempt.

“I have been contacted by a large number of local parents and students who are furious about the SQA’s action, its clear the SQA will now have a deluge of appeals. I do hope they are ready to deal with them properly.

“The Education Secretary was repeatedly warned about all this, but, as usual, has chosen to sit back and watch it happen with local young people in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute paying the price.”



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