Deputy first minister John Swinney will set out a plan to “rectify” the school exam results controversy.
The education secretary, who has faced calls to resign, will outline the government’s next steps in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.
With no exams this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) applied a methodology whereby marks estimated by teachers were downgraded based on criteria including the historic performance of the school.
This criteria saw Higher pass rates for pupils in the most deprived areas reduced by 15.2%, in comparison with 6.9% for pupils from the most affluent backgrounds.
On Monday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon backed her deputy as she apologised to pupils affected by the decision.
Both initially defended the system, stressing that the appeals process would allow eligible pupils to challenge their results and arguing that it would not have been “credible” if teachers’ estimates were not downgraded.
But following protests from pupils in Glasgow and cross-party criticism of the system, the First Minister said Swinney would “rectify” the situation.
She said: “We will be taking steps to ensure that every young person gets a grade that recognises the work they have done.
“Our concern – which was to make sure that the grades young people got were as valid as those they would have got in any other year – perhaps led us to think too much about the overall system and not enough about the individual pupil.”
She added: “Despite our best intentions, I do acknowledge we did not get this right and I’m sorry for that.
“The most immediate challenge is to resolve the grades awarded to pupils this year.”
The moderation process has been widely criticised by opposition parties.
Scottish secretary Alister Jack described it as “disgraceful” and called the system as a “postcode lottery”
The Conservative MP said Swinney had shown “a lack of judgement”.
Scottish Labour are set to mount a no-confidence vote against Swinney in Holyrood with the Conservatives saying they will support it.
Presiding officer Ken McIntosh explained that the motion would have to be debated if it is backed by 25 or more MSPs, but it would be an “expression of parliament’s opinion” and not legally binding.
Scottish Labour and the Scottish Tories have a combined 54 MSPs.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats and Scottish Greens are yet to state whether they will support the motion.
The motion was tabled on Monday morning, meaning a debate is not likely to take place before Wednesday as MSPs are normally given two days’ notice ahead of a no-confidence vote.
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