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Medical dream student 'over the moon' with grades U-turn

By Debbie Jackson
BBC Scotland

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image copyrightDavid Biggart
image captionOlivia Biggart got A grades in her prelims but her final results did not reflect what teachers recommended
A Motherwell student whose dream of becoming a doctor was shattered by downgraded Higher results, is "over the moon" she will now get her five As.
Olivia Biggart believed she was downgraded because her school is in a deprived area.
The 16-year-old told BBC Scotland she cheered at John Swinney's announcement that candidates' estimated grades would replace those awarded last week.
She will now be able to apply for medical school in October.
"I am over the moon because finally there is justice and I can pursue my career," she said.
"I am happy with what he said - and glad he apologised to us."

'Not many options'

She added: "The only thing I didn't like is that students who were over-graded will keep their results but that will all even out over time. But overall I am happy."
"I don't think he had many options. They couldn't reassess every single candidate's results.
"My dream to become a doctor is still alive."
image copyrightPA Media
image captionEducation Secretary John Swinney said pupils had shown "tremendous resilience" and apologised for the failed grading system
The government U-turn follows an outcry from pupils after moderation by the SQA led to 125,000 estimated results being downgraded.
All results that were downgraded will now be withdrawn and replaced by the original estimates made by teachers.
The move affects about 75,000 pupils across Scotland.
Olivia achieved five As in her Higher prelims and was predicted by her teachers to be awarded the same. But despite having spent the summer studying for the University Clinical Aptitude Test (Ucat), she was awarded two As and three Bs.
Without five As, she would have been unable to apply to medical school and would have to choose a completely different path.
She is now looking forward to getting her head down and working towards entry exams.
image copyrightDavid Biggart
image captionDavid Biggart believes his daughter would have been awarded different grades if her school was in an affluent area
Despite it being what she described as "the most stressful week of her life" she still attended her medic preparation course on Friday.
She said: "So many people on the course were in exactly the same position as me and now they will all be able to continue."

'Quite humiliating'

John Swinney said in his speech that the Scottish government "did not get it right" and he apologised to the pupils involved.
He said he had noted the anger and frustration as well as the impressive arguments made by young people like Olivia.
Olivia's father David Biggart said: "I think he has listened. I felt sorry for him because it takes a lot to stand up in parliament, in front of the kids he has let down, and say he got it wrong.
"It was quite humiliating. But show me a man that has never made a mistake and I will show you a man that's never worked.
"He is human and I take my hat off to him for saying he was wrong.
"Everyone makes mistakes and I hope everyone learns from this.

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