Brave Browser Fast and secure web browser  
No external plugins or adjustments required! The Brave web browser simply offers the most secure and incredibly fast web browser. Enjoy browsing without pop-ups YouTube or Web Advertising (pop-up blocker), malware and other annoyances.

¡Download Free!

Scottish education secretary faces no-confidence vote

1 month ago 27
John SwinneyImage copyright Getty Images Image caption John Swinney has apologised for the anguish caused by the grades controversy

Education Secretary John Swinney has survived a no-confidence vote at Holyrood over the school results row.

The Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems called for his resignation after thousands of teacher estimates of grades were initially marked down.

But Mr Swinney's U-turn on the issue was enough for the Scottish Greens to back the SNP in the vote.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Mr Swinney was "one of the most decent and dedicated people in Scottish politics".

The motion, tabled by Labour, was defeated by 67 votes to 58.

This year's grades were based on teacher assessments because exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When the results were published last week 125,000 of those estimates were downgraded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, which said it wanted to ensure the results were comparable with previous years.

But there were claims this system unfairly penalised pupils at schools which had historically not performed so well.

On Tuesday, after an outcry and protests by students, Mr Swinney apologised and said he would direct the SQA to reissue grades "based solely on teacher or lecturer judgement".

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Nicola Sturgeon said Mr Swinney was "one of the most decent and dedicated people in Scottish politics"

Leading the debate at Holyrood, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said Mr Swinney "only jumped to action when his own job was on the line".

He said the education secretary had presided over a series of failures, and that that the "fiasco" over exam results "must be his last".

Scottish Conservative group leader Ruth Davidson said there had been "repeated warnings" about the exams moderation issue, saying Mr Swinney "could see the car crash coming and didn't act".

She said leadership "means taking ultimate responsibility for failings in your brief", adding: "This failure is so great it demands a resignation".

And Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said the education secretary had made a "massive error of judgement" and had "undermined" his department, saying: "John Swinney knows in his quieter moments that he should go."

Opposition parties needed the votes of the Greens to pass the motion, but the party had already said they would not support it.

MSP Ross Greer said he had warned for months about the "fundamentally broken nature of the assessment system", saying "it should never, ever have been put into operation" - but said among opposition parties "only the Greens were actually interested in actually fixing the problem".

Ms Sturgeon, defending Mr Swinney, said he was "probably the most honourable individual I have known in my life".

She said that when the education secretary got something wrong "he has the humility to say so" - and that he had fixed the problem while there was "no comprehensive solution in England" to a similar row over A-level results.

Read Entire Article