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Exams chiefs have failed poorer kids whose dreams are now shattered - Record View

This year’s exams were a casualty of coronavirus.

Their inevitable cancellation meant that a Plan B had to be found for grading pupils’ work over the year.

The reality of that alternative was laid bare yesterday in a grim day for many pupils across the country.

Rather than exams, final results were based on a combination of teacher judgment and “national moderation” by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Under this new system, about 133,000 results were changed, with 93.1 per cent of those adjustments going downwards.

Then came the real kick in the teeth.

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  • Exams chiefs have failed poorer kids whose dreams are now shattered - Record View vouchers 第1张 How to get the latest Scottish news stories sent straight to your inbox with our newsletters
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The Higher pass rate for pupils from the most affluent areas fell by 6.9 per cent between initial teacher estimates and the final results, but by 15.2 per cent for pupils in the most deprived areas.

Key to the new “moderation” scheme was assessing results based on how well a school had done in the past.

Some pupils from poorer backgrounds are understandably furious that their results were downgraded by dint of this discredited system.

As a result of this travesty, hopes have been dashed and dreams shattered.

Doors on university places have closed and a harsh light has been shone on the inequalities at the heart of our education system.

It is no use Education Secretary John Swinney putting the responsibility on to the SQA.

When the SQA presided over an exams debacle in 2000, Nicola Sturgeon pointed the finger at Labour’s education minister Sam Galbraith.

The same is true 20 years later.

Swinney and Nicola Sturgeon cannot let this stand. If they don’t intervene, parents will never forgive them.

Clock’s ticking

Exams chiefs have failed poorer kids whose dreams are now shattered - Record View vouchers 第3张New Cystic Fibrosis drug Kaftrio which is called Trikafta in America (Image: UGC)

 

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  • Exams chiefs have failed poorer kids whose dreams are now shattered - Record View vouchers 第4张 Young Scot begs for her life in heartbreaking plea for new wonder drug

It IS welcome news that the Scottish Government has approved a miracle drug that could make a massive difference to the quality of life of those living with cystic fibrosis.

Ministers said yesterday that Kaftrio, already available across English and Welsh health boards, will soon be available via the NHS here.

But it could be too late for one Scots patient who has been calling for months for the drug to be made available freely.

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Hailey Mann bravely shared an open letter with the Record, published yesterday, in which she revealed that she could soon die if she doesn’t start receiving treatment with Kaftrio.

Holyrood ministers must now instruct health bosses to ensure Hailey can gain access to the wonder drug as soon as possible.

She simply does not have time to wait until the NHS deals with the usual bureaucracy.

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