Forrester High: John Swinney's former school in Edinburgh saw nearly half of Highers marked down

The statistics come as Nicola Sturgeon apologises for the exam results controversy at her daily briefing.
John Swinney's old school saw grades lowered by almost 50 per cent.John Swinney's old school saw grades lowered by almost 50 per cent.
John Swinney's old school saw grades lowered by almost 50 per cent.

Pupils at John Swinney’s old Edinburgh high school saw their grades reduced by nearly 50 per cent according to statistics seen by the Edinburgh Evening News, it can be revealed.

The education secretary studied at Forrester High School in the west of the Capital where pupils saw their grades reduced by one grade or more 47 per cent of the time for Highers, and one third of the time for those who received their National 5 results last week.

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The revelation came after the deputy first minister indicated a rethink of the policy around the exam results with Mr Swinney due to make a statement to the Scottish Parliament tomorrow.

It follows a week of mounting pressure on Mr Swinney and the First Minister, with the education secretary potentially facing a no confidence motion from Scottish Labour this week.

It is understood pressure from the Scottish Greens who threatened to back the no confidence vote forced the change in policy from the Scottish Government.

Pupils sitting National 5s at Forrester saw 33.69 per cent of grades lowered, with 63.67 per cent accepted, while 2.65 per cent were raised by the SQA, according to statistics seen by the Edinburgh Evening News.

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In terms of Highers, Forrester pupils saw 46.83 per cent of grades lowered, with 50.40 per cent accepted, while 2.78 per cent were raised.

The school was not the worst hit by the moderation system with grades being changed as much as 76 per cent of the time in Edinburgh, figures show.

Nicola Sturgeon’s own school, Greenwood Academy in North Ayrshire, saw saw nearly 40 per cent of results marked down by a grade or more according to the Daily Record.

Cammy Day, depute leader at Edinburgh City Council said the Scottish Government and SQA need to “accept they have simply got it wrong”.

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The Labour councillor said: “It is good to see the Scottish Government seems to be listening to the voice of parents and these decision need reversed.

"The Scottish Government and the SQA need to accept that they have simply got it wrong and they need to make sure that young people will not be suffering from a bureaucratic system.

"In John Swinney’s school where pupils have been marked down by around 50 per cent, that needs to be seriously reviewed as do all the schools as a matter of urgency.

"Ultimately I want to make sure that no young person’s future suffers detrimentally because of a blunder by the Scottish Government.”

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Speaking at her daily briefing, Ms Sturgeon said the government had taken decisions “which we thought were on balance the right ones, but our concern to make sure the grades young people got were as valid as any other year, perhaps led us to think more about the system than individual children.”

Apologising for the situation, she said she did not attach any blame to the SQA and that it was on the government.

The First Minister added: "Despite our best intentions I do acknowledge that we did not get this right and I am sorry for that".A detailed plan for how the situation will be resolved is due to be announced by from John Swinney in Holyrood tomorrow, and Nicola Strugeon said the government would not “expect every student who has been downgraded to appeal". She added: "That's on us."

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