Equal treatment for all in exam appeals

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It was always foreseeable that if you introduce fees for appeals, and provide no funding to the state schools to let them do so, when they are 
already struggling and teachers are paying for materials out of their own pockets, then the number of appeals would fall (your report, 30 January).

Meanwhile, no such problem afflicted pupils at private schools. Even against the teacher’s advice, a parent could pay out of their own pocket.

It may have been an unintended consequence of introducing the charge, as your editorial (same day) charitably suggests, but that presumes nobody was there to point out the obvious likely outcome.

Now we know there was 
indeed a drop – of 75 per cent in just one year.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tries to evade answering this by pointing to the changes in rules for submitting 
appeals, but they apply equally to all pupils, regardless of whether their school is private or state.

Your editorial puts its finger on the spot: it should be equal treatment for all, and these charges diminish the chances of the less well-off.

We also learn that places in further education colleges for the study of science, technology, engineering and maths have dropped by a third.

Again, it is mainly the working-class students who lose out.

So, would Brian Cox tell us all, why does he believe the SNP are more social democratic than Labour?

Not only have they failed to carry out a single redistributive action in favour of the less well-off, but decisions such as these positively weigh advantage towards the better-off.

I’ll admit they talk a good game, but it’s a cruel deception of people who think they are going to deliver better times for all.

Maria Fyfe

Ascot Avenue