THE SNP have accused the Scottish Tories of "rank hypocrisy" for their silence over nearly 40% of exam results in England being downgraded.

Students were also left unable to appeal results themselves.

With exams called off this year due to the pandemic, the Scottish Qualifications Authority used a methodology which saw a quarter of grades estimated by teachers downgraded. Pass rates for pupils in the most deprived areas were reduced by 15.2% in comparison to 6.9% for pupils from the most affluent backgrounds.

The results caused a major row which led to Education Secretary John Swinney apologising and announcing those whose grades had been downgraded would instead receive the grade estimated by their teacher.

READ MORE: Results chaos in England as Tories gear up for John Swinney no-confidence vote

Westminster MP Douglas Ross – who is also Scottish Tory leader - is one of those calling for Swinney to resign at today's no-confidence vote.

But he has yet to publicly condemn UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

He said it is not his job to "support the UK Government on everything", adding: "Some say the exam results in England cause me difficulties. My job as leader of @scottories is to get the best for young people & everyone in Scotland. It’s not my job to support the UK government on everything. I’ll challenge them when I believe they're wrong."

The Tories have said English pupils should go through a restricted appeals system or sit exams despite not being in school for nearly five months.

The SNP hit out at the Scottish Tories' "deafening silence" over that outcome.

Carol Monaghan, the party's Shadow Education spokesperson, said: "As concerns over exam results were raised in Scotland, Douglas Ross and the Scottish Tories were quick off the mark to play petty party politics and demand resignations.

"Their deafening silence over the exam results published in England today - with almost 40% of students having their exam results downgraded compared to 25% in Scotland - reeks of rank hypocrisy.  

She continued: "The SNP Scottish Government listened to the concerns of students and teachers and took steps to ensure that candidates were not unfairly penalised through no fault of their own - with downgraded exam results scrapped and pupils receiving the grade the teacher awarded, and upgraded results retained.

"Now it’s the Tories' turn, and they are refusing to take action to help England’s young people, some of whom may be having their chance of coming to university in Scotland destroyed by the Tories' actions.

"This year's exam results faced unprecedented challenges and impacted students not just in Scotland, but right across the UK. However, rather than engaging constructively, the Scottish Tories chose to politicise the issue for their own ends.

"Their deafening silence over calls for resignations in Westminster is telling and reveals their true colours of putting politics ahead of people's livelihoods."

The Scottish Tories have also been deleting tweets and retweets in relation to the Scottish Government's handling of the issue.

One now-deleted tweet from the Scottish Conservaties Twitter account said the FM's "belated apology is not good enough".

The National:

READ MORE: Scottish Tories delete tweet slamming Nicola Sturgeon for exam results

Head teachers in England have warned some lowered grades there seem to be “unfair and unfathomable”. About 36% of entries had a lower grade than predicted, while 3% were down two grades.

The key information used to calculate A-Levels and GCSEs is how pupils are ranked by their school plus results in their schools and colleges in previous years. There is a “triple lock” in place, meaning they can receive whatever is the highest grade of their estimated grade, an autumn written exam or mock exam, dependent on a successful appeal.