Can Swinney withstand no-confidence vote after exam controversy?

Education secretary is set to survive the vote, with Scottish Greens not expected to support it.

Can Swinney withstand no-confidence vote after exam controversy? Getty Images

The education secretary faces a vote of no confidence at Holyrood later following the exam results controversy.

John Swinney apologised to students on Tuesday as he confirmed thousands of pupils who had marks downgraded, following SQA moderation, would have them replaced by teachers’ estimates.

The SNP MSP has come under fire from opposition parties over the situation, which saw pupils protest in Glasgow – many believing they were penalised for living in less affluent areas of Scotland.

Scottish Labour tabled a motion of no confidence in Mr Swinney over the process but – providing there are no rebellions from the SNP benches – the support of the Scottish Greens will ensure Swinney survives the motion.

The Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) moderation process initially saw the downgrading of 124,564 results – 93.1% of all the moderated grades.

Figures showed the pass rate for Higher pupils from the most deprived areas of Scotland fell by 15.2% compared against 6.9% in the most affluent parts of the country.

Following the Scottish Government’s change in approach, the SQA will now issue fresh certificates to those affected as soon as possible.