THIS week has been an object lesson in why Scotland needs the full powers of independence. In contrast to the mishandling of school results in England, pupils in Scotland benefited from Holyrood’s ability to correct policy decisions and as a consequence have not been cheated of their future. No wonder an ever-growing proportion of the population believes Scotland is heading in the right direction – towards independence.

Sixteen-year-old Lauren Steele from East Kilbride contacted Education Secretary John Swinney after she received her downgraded results. She said: “I had a bit of an outburst, a cry of help to John Swinney. Please do something about this and fix our results for us.”

After announcing that the Scottish Government was reverting to the teacher assessment of grades without moderation, Lauren said she was delighted: “I think he has done great. Honestly I think he has. I think he has done the best he could do and I know that the initial exam results that we were given last Tuesday, and the way that things were done, weren’t so great in a lot of people’s eyes. But … his statement, his decision to rectify the results that were downgraded and bring them up on the basis of what the teachers said I think he has done great. It’s a bit of a relief”.

Compare and contrast with the reactions of school pupils in England like Mithushan Thiagarajah who was predicted to get four A*s and had an offer to study medicine at Cambridge University. His grades were marked down by an algorithm and his offer from Cambridge has been withdrawn. In reaction, he said: “I wanted to make everyone who believed in me proud … I knew I could get those grades if I actually did the exams.”

These heartbreaking circumstances are replicated right across England, particularly in more deprived areas. The English Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, warned: “The danger is that pupils will be over-promoted into jobs that are beyond their competence”.

Coming from one of the most incompetent governments in living memory that is really hard to take.

In Scotland, Labour and the Tories called for the Scottish Government to U-turn on exam moderation and then lost the plot when John Swinney announced a return to teacher assessed grades. Labour’s invisible and eminently forgettable leader at Holyrood moved a motion of no confidence in the SNP Education Secretary, who rectified the situation.

The National: Scottish Education Secretary and Deputy First Minister John SwinneyScottish Education Secretary and Deputy First Minister John Swinney

At the same time, pupils in Wales saw their grades reduced under a Welsh Labour Government. Imagine being so hypocritical as to simultaneously downgrade 42% of pupils in Wales, move a no-confidence motion in Scotland where the SNP has restored grades, while in London call for the UK Government to follow the Scottish lead. Without even a sign of a blush, Sir Keir Starmer called on Boris Johnson to follow the SNP lead, while his Holyrood colleague was arguing for John Swinney’s removal.

As for the Tories, they, too, were caught red-handed looking both ways on Scottish education. Forced to pull embarrassing tweets, they claimed without irony it was because they couldn’t spell, as opposed to the fact they are total rank hypocrites.

Less than a week into office, their newly crowned Scottish leader Douglas Ross showed himself incapable of criticising his UK colleagues for not doing what he demanded from the Scottish Government. Meanwhile, new-old Tory leader “Baroness” Ruth Davidson, fell flat at FMQ’s.

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Despite the often negative publicity around the education debate, public opinion is still heavily supportive of the SNP. In a YouGov poll for The Times newspaper this week, a whopping 57% said they backed the SNP and 53% were for Scottish independence. They are the highest-ever numbers recorded for both questions by YouGov and it was the fourth poll in a row showing a majority for Scottish independence. In reply the UK Government’s big idea is to put a Union Jack on projects it will fund in Scotland, as well as continue with their weekly ministerial propaganda day trips to show they care.

By showing better decisions can be made in Scotland the SNP have delivered for pupils, parents and teachers and demonstrated why the Scottish Government should make all major decisions in future.

That’s called independence. Young voters in Scotland are already amongst the strongest supporters of Scottish independence. Now they can point to a concrete life-changing experience where better government in Scotland has delivered for them.

Independence is not just about having the chance to make the right decisions, but also make the right corrections if something goes wrong. This week, the SNP made the right decisions with the powers of devolution. Imagine how much better things will be with the powers of independence.