ANOTHER week in Scottish politics, and another win for pupils, parents and teachers against the Government. Perhaps one of the greatest U-turns we have seen since the advent of devolution.

I had the pleasure of meeting some of the students from Glasgow’s East End who led protests in our city, who deserve to be congratulated unreservedly for their work and determination that led to this fantastic result.

It was just this past weekend – less than four days before the U-turn! – that John Swinney and Nicola Sturgeon were in front of television cameras telling us that there was nothing to see here; inviting the legions of distraught parents, demoralised teachers and devastated pupils to move along.

Nicola Sturgeon even had the audacity to stand in front of the nation and tell us that the professional judgement of our teachers simply was not credible – without telling us why the teachers of the poorest fifth of young Scots were less credible than those teaching the wealthiest fifth.

The Government’s credibility now lies in tatters.

In any discussion of Scottish education, exaltation of the Scottish Enlightenment is not far off. Allow me to paraphrase from the revered David Hume: “Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.”

A sentiment that can equally and easily be applied to the political theatrics played by Swinney and Sturgeon as they beat a hasty retreat. They conceded because they are afraid of anger, not because they believe they did wrong. Political theatrics complemented perfectly by the sophistry and silence of the SNP’s backbenchers.

The last week has seen the raw anger of pupils on display: unadulterated and unfiltered. Young people who saw their dreams and aspirations being torn away from them by a spreadsheet calculation.

Swinney and co. stuck their heels in: “there needed to be credibility”, “attainment simply wasn’t improving that fast”, “the really deserving cases could be rectified through appeals”. But, the moment that it looked like Swinney’s head could be the one to roll? That was the moment that he heard the roar of anger.

This is, it has to be said, the benefit of having proportional systems designed not to give majority Governments. This is a prime example of political pressure being applied and delivering a tangible benefit; an example of opposition parties working in tandem.

If it had been the case that John Swinney had risen in the Scottish Parliament and declared: “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”, then my anger might have subsided. But it was not to be.

The illusion, the sophistry, that the SNP will now seek to apply is that this was a fault completely not of their making, and that their intervention has now fixed it. The great pretence will be that the original sin lies with the SQA, and that Ministers have now listened.

This is simply not true – and it is a complete distortion of the facts. This was a disaster that was entirely foreseeable, entirely predicted and entirely avoidable.

Swinney may have won the Greens onto his side in time to save his own job. But the question that he must ask himself now: does he command the respect and confidence of Scotland’s young people and its Teachers?

Because their answer is no.