The National:

IN case you haven't heard, things are not going very well for Gavin Williamson.

Critics say it’s virtually impossible to be sacked from the Tory cabinet under Boris Johnson, and the UK Education Secretary is putting that theory to the test.

Williamson has been forced into a U-turn on exam results just days after criticising John Swinney for doing the same thing.

The A-levels fiasco has prompted protests and the threat of legal action from angry pupils, with Tory politicians calling for the education chief to step down.

Swinney saw off criticism and a no-confidence vote after fronting up to his mistakes and it seems, at last, Williamson has taken a leaf out of his Scottish counterpart’s book. Better late than never.

The subtle self-deprecation comes in the form of a tweet liked by the Tory minister’s official account.

Posted by writer Michael Rosen in response to tweets criticisng the UK Government’s handling of the exams chaos, it reads: “People get promoted to positions of power (and nice pay) to abuse teachers and run a system that judges young people on two or three hours splurge that bears no resemblance to life's tasks.”

The National:

READ MORE: Gavin Williamson U-turns on exams days after mocking John Swinney

In fairness to Williamson, liking that tweet would be about the most popular things he’s done as Education Secretary.

Human rights lawyer Shoaib M Khan posted: "So @GavinWilliamson 'liked' this tweet by @MichaelRosenYes. I wonder if he somehow thought it was a compliment, or he actually agrees that he and the current system are both completely useless."

He announced yesterday that England’s A-level and GCSE students’ grades would now be based on the marks predicted by their teachers, rather than the algorithm used to standardise results – made by Ofqual.

It came after Swinney made a similar U-turn, which Williamson insisted he defenitely would not be copying in an interview with The Times on Saturday.

“In Scotland you’ve got a system where there aren’t any controls; you’ve got rampant grade inflation. There’s been no checks and balances in that system; it degrades every single grade,” he said.

He added there would be “no U-turn, no change”. 

By lunchtime yesterday, the Tory minister announced the U-turn.

The Department for Education has been contacted for comment.