The extent to which students across Dumfries and Galloway would have had their qualifications downgraded by a proposed moderation system has been revealed by new analysis.

The analysis by Barry Black, a Glasgow University researcher and associate of the Urban Big Data Centre, revealed the full impact on pupils in the region.

With exams cancelled, the Scottish Government approved an alternative way of the Scottish Qualifications Agency (SQA) calculating pupils’ grades using an algorithm which would have meant many teacher forecasts of students achievements were adjusted downwards.

The system resulted in a huge disparity depending on postcodes and a school’s past attainment, rather than individual performance with up to a third of higher results in some of the regions schools set to be downgraded. However, Labour tabled a vote of no-confidence against Education Secretary in the Scottish Parliament, forcing the Scottish Government into a humiliating U-turn and agreeing to use teacher projections based on a pupils work throughout the year.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “This analysis lays bare the extent to which the Scottish Government were about to jeopardise the future of hundreds of young people across Dumfries and Galloway.

“It is no coincidence that in some of the region’s schools the level of changes to results about to be imposed were more than twice that of private schools in Scotland.

“The so called algorithm used by the SQA was biased against poorer pupils and it makes me angry that the Government were quite prepared to go ahead with such inequality until Labour forced them into a u-turn by tabling a vote of no confidence in Parliament on Education Secretary John Swinney. However, pupils, parents and teachers will not forget this scandal.”

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