A POLITICAL row has broken out between Glasgow's Labour and SNP education bosses over the fallout from SQA results for city pupils.

Councillor Soryia Siddique, Labour's education spokeswoman, has called on education convenor Chris Cunningham to speak out over the exam body's controversial grading system.

She also demanded an investigation into how the system has affected Glasgow's youngsters plus a breakdown of the results data.

But Mr Cunningham, in a response seen by the Glasgow Times, hit back saying that approach risks the achievements of the majority of pupils being "tarnished and diminished."

He said Maureen McKenna, director of education, is working with head teachers to ensure appeals are underway and all young people are supported.

Dr Siddique said: "It is disappointing that the city convenor for education, skills and early years has not answered any questions put to him and he was noticeable by his absence at the SQA rally to hear directly from Glasgow learners in their words "judge my work not my postcode" on what he describes as "snap judgement".

"I am further disappointed that there is no call from the education convenor for SQA to reverse the systemic disadvantage.

"It appears Glasgow learners could wait until the middle of next year for an appeal, causing further uncertainty and stress.

"Appeals should be there for individual mistakes, not to put right systemic failure.

Glasgow Times:

"Many local authorities in Scotland have provided data on pupil exam downgrades.

"This data must be provided by Glasgow City Council as a matter of priority for elected member scrutiny as this is linked to our young peoples life chances."

Dr Siddique's letter to Mr Cunningham called for the council to provide "school, SIMD (deprivation level), exam subject, exam level, teacher presented grades and SQA grades as soon as possible."

Her call follows controversy over the awarding of results to Scottish pupils last week.

After exams were cancelled due to the pandemic, teachers were asked to provide an estimated grade for their pupils with around a quarter of these then adjusted by the SQA according to its moderation system.

Figures for downgrading showed a difference of 6.9% in estimated grades and grades awarded for pupils from the most well-off homes.

But that number was 15.2% for those from the most-deprived backgrounds.

In response Mr Cunningham has written: "Like you, I am concerned at the reports of differences between teacher estimates and SQA awards.

"I am, however, reluctant to rush to judgement and am concerned that in doing so the achievements of the majority of Glasgow’s young people are at risk of being tarnished and diminished."

Glasgow Times:

He goes on to say that the results overall across the city, as reported last week by the Glasgow Times, have improved overall as has been the trend over a number of years.

He adds: "I will presume that we all share a concern that this year has seen significant variation between teacher estimates and SQA awards and for my part I want to know and understand how this arose.

"Where we will disagree is taking as a starting position blame and recrimination rather than an evidence-based understanding of how Glasgow’s young people may have been affected and the possible extent of that. "To repeat my previous comments, it would be grossly unfair to sully the achievements of the majority of our young people in premature and politicised posturing."

The council has said it is too early yet to provide data for the 12,000 young people who should have each sat between three and nine exams in the city in May.

The numbers are currently being collated and will be provided to members of the education, skills and early years committee when ready.