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SQA results: University Chancellor urges Sturgeon and Swinney to “get it fixed or go”

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The former First Minister of Scotland and current University Chancellor Lord McConnell has written his view on the recent SQA results controversy, urging both Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney to “get it fixed or go”.

In an article for today’s Sunday Times discussing the recent SQA results controversy, McConnell looked back at his own experiences as the newly appointed Education Minister in 2000. A problem with SQA results left roughly 20,000 students across Scotland receiving the incorrect exam grades, or being left without any results at all.

McConnell said: “I knew that I would have to resign if we did not succeed”. It was a necessity to correct the issues that occurred in 2000 for the next SQA results period.

Suggesting a way forward, the University Chancellor added that both the First Minister and Deputy First Minister should “announce an immediate and urgent review”.

Lord Mcconnell also commented on the SQA appeals process and timeline after the Scottish Labour party said they would table a motion of no confidence in the cabinet Secretary for Education, John Swinney. They allegedly obtained information suggesting that young people could be waiting nine months for the conclusion of the appeals process, a wait which the SQA said did not exist.

Mcconnell said, “Group appeals should be allowed from schools where the results are clearly wrong. Appeals should allow changes up to A passes where they are deserved”. He also highlighted that “This should be completed before the end of August.”

In a statement, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“I have heard the anger of students who feel their hard work has been taken away from them and I am determined to address it.

“These are unprecedented times and as we have said throughout this pandemic, we will not get everything right first time.  Every student deserves a grade that reflects the work they have done, and that is what I want to achieve.”

Swinney said he will set out a plan on Tuesday to “give certainty to our young people”.

Feature image credit: University of Stirling

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