THE SNP have hit out at the Tory Government’s “rank hypocrisy” after a U-turn that will see pupils in England have their exam results based on teacher assessments.
UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said that his Scottish counterpart John Swinney’s decision to base the results on teacher estimates meant “rampant grade inflation” in Scotland.
However today Williamson made the same decision, confirming teacher estimates would be used to mark A-level and GCSE results after it emerged around 40% of A-levels had been downgraded by English qualifications body OfQual.
It comes as several Tory MPs called on Williamson and Boris Johnson to follow Scotland’s lead and base results on pupil’s predicted grades.
A number of students had prepared legal action after they saw their A-level grades dropped from As and Bs to Ds or even Us.
As in Scotland, with exams cancelled, pupils’ grades were based on teachers’ assessments, which were then moderated by Ofqual.
READ MORE: England follows Scotland’s lead in using teacher estimates as exam results
At the weekend, Williamson said: “In Scotland you’ve got a system where there aren’t any controls; you’ve got rampant grade inflation.
“There’s been no checks and balances in that system – it degrades every single grade.
“If we see one year where you see the grade distributions so distorted and so changed, then actually the value and worth of what those grades are is damaged as a result.”
Carol Monaghan, the SNP’s education spokeswoman, said these comments were “a slap in the face” to Scottish teachers and pupils.
She added: “Gavin Williamson’s comments over the weekend not only did a disservice to the action taken by John Swinney over the exam results this year, but they were a slap in the face to teachers and pupils across Scotland who have worked incredibly hard in the middle of a global health pandemic.
“The UK Government have completely failed to take ownership of the significant problem that was in front of them.
“It looks like Ofqual has taken this decision with the UK government forced to follow behind. Meanwhile in Scotland, John Swinney took decisive action to fix this issue for our young people.
“The decision for the UK government to follow Scotland’s lead in addressing the wrongs of this year’s exam results is welcome. It’s now for the Secretay of State to reflect on his ill-advised comments and to work with devolved governments rather than briefing against them.”