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SNP must publish findings of secret exam failure probe

The SNP government has been urged to publish the findings of a secret probe into Scotland’s falling exam pass rate.

Education secretary John Swinney ordered officials to investigate why the performance of Higher pupils had dipped last year, despite saying in public it was a mere case of “annual variation”.

He even criticised opposition parties for suggesting the reduction in those achieving an A to C pass mark was due to SNP policy.

Now Nicola Sturgeon has been told she should reveal the findings of that work, or stand accused once again of not prioritising education.

At First Minister’s Questions today, Ms Sturgeon denied her education secretary had done anything wrong by stating conflicting positions in private and in public.

She added: “We will publish findings as and when we have them.”

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said:

“John Swinney attacked his critics for daring to suggest the drop in exam performance might have something to do with the SNP’s handling of education.

“But at the same time he was asking his officials to find out what on earth was going wrong.

“He and Nicola Sturgeon may not think there’s any explaining to do, but parents, teachers and students will take a different view.

“That’s why the findings of this internal investigation must be published.

“This will be the year the SNP’s diabolical domestic record will come home to roost, and it will be exposed as a party which puts its own interests ahead of those of the country.

“Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly claimed that education is her number one priority, and it’s about time she made that the case.”

Ends

 

Notes to editors:

 

Swinney’s secret probe into the exam failure was exposed in the Times last month:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/swinney-urged-to-make-higher-review-public-t9jvmhqj2

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