Commenting as pupils in Scotland receive their exam results today, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP said:
"First of all, I would like to say congratulations to everyone receiving results today. You have all worked incredibly hard in circumstances that have never been faced before. You should be very proud of the work that you have put in. We also owe our thanks to all the teachers who have striven to support pupils at this difficult time.
"While some pupils will be rightly celebrating, many more will be deeply disappointed with how the SQA have handled things. We are already seeing pupils, teachers and in some cases, entire classes, complaining that their grades have been dropped dramatically, in many cases turning passes into fails.
"In particular the decision by the SQA to hold back their moderation guidelines until results’ day itself has meant months have been lost in which these guidelines could be scrutinised, understood and if necessary, improved. These are difficult times for any organisation but the SQA's communication with parents, pupils and teachers has been a trainwreck that could have been easily avoided.
"What's more, the reliance on a school's past performance as a guide to moderating results will embed the attainment gap and hurt bright pupils from disadvantaged schools. It appears that the system has been reverse-engineered to get the “right results”.
"Everyone will now be hoping that the appeals process is sufficiently robust to handle the volume of pupils who will now wish to challenge their results."