FMQs: Sturgeon in denial over latest SQA shambles

The SNP Government are “in denial” about the “deeply unfair” grade appeals system they have created, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

At First Minister’s Questions, Douglas Ross called for no pupil who appeals to be downgraded and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) to be replaced, which Nicola Sturgeon refused to consider.

The Scottish Conservative Leader said pupils, parents and teachers had been failed by another “shambles” because the SNP Government and SQA have learned “no lessons” from the last exams fiasco.

Last night, Leon Cameron of the Glasgow Youth Council, said: “we are extremely angry at the people with authority, the Scottish Government, the SQA, that they keep saying that everything is ok, when it is not…They are clearly in denial over this issue…We have been put through hell.”

Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: “The First Minister must be one of the last people in Scotland who still has full confidence in the SQA.

“The SNP Government and the SQA are in denial about the deeply unfair system they have created.

“It’s unbelievable that Nicola Sturgeon is defending an appeals system that risks pupils receiving a lower grade and demands they gamble on their future.

“Claiming that ‘there is no alternative’ is a weak excuse that won’t sit well with pupils, parents or teachers.

“This government and the SQA ignored dozens and dozens of warnings that their system was flawed.

“Yet, nine months after last year’s exams disaster, the SNP Government seem determined to repeat their mistakes.

“Swinney is out, Somerville is in, but it’s the same old shambles. No lessons learned. No understanding. No fairness.

“Pupils are dismayed at seeing their ambition punished. Teachers are scunnered that their concerns have been ignored. Parents are furious that the government are just not listening.

“The First Minister should concede now that she got this badly wrong, guarantee no pupils who appeal will be downgraded, and then start to fix the deeper problems in Scottish education, beginning with replacing the SQA.”

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