PARENTS at one of Scotland’s top performing schools claim their children have been “gravely” let down during the pandemic.

Williamwood High School has been accused of a raft of failures by parents who say they are “dismayed” by how badly the secondary adapted during lockdown.

The Glasgow Times spoke to multiple parents who all shared frustration at how standards at the well-renowned school plummeted.

A group of parents has now submitted a formal complaint to the head teacher, which is currently being investigated.

A spokesman for East Renfrewshire Council refuted claims, saying “all schools” worked “extremely hard” to deliver home learning activities that “met the needs of all pupils.”

But parents say pupils who needed extra supports were not given any tailored help with some even saying their children required counselling as a result of being isolated, demotivated and unsupported.

While exams were officially cancelled in 2021 due to the pandemic, secondaries ran assessments after the Easter holidays in order to assist with grading awards.

These assessments, across Scotland, have been criticised as being exams in all but name.

Unlike other schools in the local authority, Williamwood ran two examination diets - including being the only school to hold exams prior to the Easter holidays when youngsters had had barely any classroom time.

Parents say the double exam diet was unfair and unnecessarily gruelling for pupils who had experienced very little interactive teaching, who had almost no exam experience and who had been isolated during lockdown.

They claim they raised the issue with the school well ahead of the assessments being held but were told there was no room for compromise.

Other schools in East Renfrewshire, and across the border in Glasgow, ran Easter schools to give pupils extra catch-up support but Williamwood had no Easter school.

It also chose to teach pupils using pre-recorded YouTube videos in place of interactive virtual teaching sessions.

All parents who spoke to the Glasgow Times asked to remain anonymous.

One mum said: “My husband sums it up by saying the headteacher is not a wartime leader. When everything is going well the school performs well but when it gets hard, everything falls apart.

“It’s appalling. There has been such disparity across the local authority.

“The emotional side of things has never been taken into account either, the fact teenagers were home alone, getting out only for one walk a day, being treated like granny killers... and yet the school has had no pastoral care in place.”

Parents we spoke to said Williamwood had relied on having engaged and motivated parents to pick up the slack.

Several said they had hired tutors in order to make sure their young people made it through exams.

One said: “My child has done very well in their exams but that is despite of the school, not because of it.

“I very, very reluctantly hired a private tutor and I, like other parents I know, took time off work to be at home and essentially teach my child full time from resources we bought ourselves.

“I am quite sure that without that extra input he would have dropped at least one of his subjects and we would have been looking at fails from a child predicted to achieve all As.”

Williamwood consistently makes the top 10 in the annual school league tables, which rank secondaries by how many pupils leave with five or more Highers.

Parents who spoke to this paper said their children had ended up dropping subjects or had earned marks far below their predicted grades.

Another mum said: “The vast majority of parents were concerned at the double exam diet yet they persisted with this plan.

“Other schools used a combination of class tests and course work but Williamwood held not just one round of exams but two, taking no account of class work.

“This was gruelling for the kids with only five weeks in between exam diets, two of which they were on Easter break.

“How can students at the school have done as well as pupils elsewhere who have had more interactive learning, fewer exams, and more time in class?”

One dad said: “The school will trumpet its results again this year but it has not earned those results - families have.

“We moved into the catchment area because Williamwood is one of the best schools in Scotland but the scales have well and truly fallen from my eyes.”

The East Renfrewshire spokesman added that staff were “continually monitoring” pupils’ participation. He said: “Where they felt learners were not engaging, families were contacted to see if any support was required.

“Our remote learning offer was reviewed by Education Scotland and had very positive feedback.

“We recognise this has been a challenging time for all pupils, so were pleased that engagement with online learning at Williamwood showed 100% of pupils engaged during the first lockdown and 98% engaged in the second lockdown.”