Scottish Labour has said it will table a motion of no confidence in education secretary John Swinney.
The move comes amid fierce criticism of the Scottish Government and the Scottish Qualifications Authority over the exam results moderation process.
Around 138,000 school pupils received the results of their National, Higher and Advanced Higher courses on Tuesday after an exam-free year.
Results published by the Scottish Government showed that while pass rates were up and three out of four grade estimates were not adjusted, the SQA downgraded 124,564 results – 93.1% of all the moderated grades.
Around 133,000 entries were adjusted from the initial estimate, with only 6.9% adjusted up.
Scottish Labour said it had now obtained documentary evidence that the SQA is planning to not reveal appeal results till the end of May 2021.
As a result, the party said it would table a motion of no confidence and seek support from other parties in the Scottish Parliament for Swinney’s removal.
“It is now clear that John Swinney has completely lost control of the SQA and the exam process, and he needs to go.”Iain Gray, Scottish Labour education spokesperson
Scottish Labour education spokesman Iain Gray said: “Since the shambles of the SQA results emerged on Tuesday, the SQA and SNP ministers have deflected criticism through arguing that students could appeal unfair grades.
“This astonishing leak blows the lid off their defence. The SQA created this mess and the SNP government has entrusted them to sort it out – but all we have seen is shambles upon shambles upon shambles.
“It is now clear that John Swinney has completely lost control of the SQA and the exam process, and he needs to go. We will seek to lay a motion to that effect and approach colleagues across parliament for their support.”
Labour claims it has seen evidence – on the SQA intranet portal – that the SQA plans to conclude “priority” reviews for candidates awaiting university places by September 4, adding that such a lengthy delay for all other appeals could “compromise those applying for university next year and those seeking to apply for jobs”.
But the SQA said there is no nine-month wait for grades.
An SQA spokesman said: “This was a meaningless date set as part of a technical requirement to allow the system to go live.
“The results of the priority appeals will be emailed to schools and colleges for learners by 4th September.
“We are committed to processing all appeals as quickly as possible. We will provide a date for all other reviews shortly after 21st August.”
More than 100 pupils held a protest in Glasgow on Friday, with many claiming they had been penalised for living in less affluent areas.
During the protest in George Square, young people were pictured holding placards with captions such as ‘judge my work, not my postcode’ at a protest organised by 17-year-old student Erin Bleakley.
This year’s exam results were calculated by teachers, who based their estimates on preliminary exams and coursework, while the SQA took into consideration the previous performance of the school.
But the national moderation system meant that many students received lower grades than originally estimated.
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily briefing, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told pupils the moderation was necessary to “command the confidence of colleges and universities and employers”.
However, she urged pupils to challenge their results if there has been “genuine individual injustices”.