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Scotland’s papers: Exam grades rise and Prince Andrew arrives at Balmoral

image captionExam results day makes the front page of The Herald and many of Scotland’s papers on Wednesday. It reports that the SQA exams body has been accused of “massive grade inflation” after the proportion of A passes awarded for Highers and Advanced Higher rises by nearly 20% compared with the pre-pandemic period.
image captionPupil grades are also The Scotsman’s main story. It writes that universities are set to receive their lowest proportion of pupils from deprived backgrounds in five years, in a “blow to Nicola Sturgeon’s pledge” to narrow the attainment gap.
image captionThe i newspaper says that SQA bosses are “confident” that teachers applied the national standard in grading pupils this year, despite the number of A grades awarded being 16.7% higher than in 2018-19.
image captionScottish qualifications have been “devalued” by two years of grade inflation writes the Daily Telegraph. It reports that a professor of education at Dundee University has said it would be impossible to distinguish the cleverest pupils from average performers by the results.
image captionHigh achievers have been turned away from Scottish universities due to huge demand for places after a second year of “rampant grade inflation”, writes The Times. It says nearly half of pupils were awarded an A grade, up from less than 30% during a typical year.
image captionThe Metro leads on the news that a US woman has filed a civil case against the Duke of York, alleging he sexually assaulted her when she was 17-years-old. Prince Andrew has consistently denied Virginia Giuffre’s claims and his spokeswoman said there was “no comment” on the case. The Metro says the development is “enough to make a duke sweat” – a reference to the defence Prince Andrew gave during a 2019 BBC Newsnight interview. The paper says the duke is now “lying low” in Scotland at Balmoral amid the allegations.
image captionThe Scottish Daily Mail reports that Prince Andrew is “staying silent” after Ms Giuffre’s civil case was filed in New York. The paper also says Nicola Sturgeon has “failed the test” as the pupil attainment gap has grown between higher and lower income families.
image captionPrince Andrew could face a further civil case in the US from another woman as he arrives at Balmoral, the Daily Record claims. It says Johanna Sjoberg could air allegations – which the duke denies – in court.
image captionThe National writes that the BBC has a “serious credibility gap” over the way it covers political stories, according to the SNP’s Independence Unit director Michael Russell.
image captionBBC show Strictly Come Dancing has been hit by Covid after a dancer tested positive, reports the Sun. It could throw the launch programme into jeopardy, the paper claims.
image captionThe Daily Express reports that scientists have championed a “fantastic development” in treating dementia. It says the breakthrough could identify changes in the brain and mean patients get results “in one day and save the NHS millions”.
image captionA bid to revamp a war memorial garden at Spean Bridge could cause distress to relatives of the fallen, the Press and Journal reports.
image captionThe Courier reports on the reaction of the leader of Dundee Council, after Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and his wife launched a legal action against a nursery in the city – claiming it discriminated against their daughter.
image captionThe Evening Express writes of the “exams joy” of pupils who faced a tough year of studies during the Covid pandemic.
image captionThe Edinburgh News says pupils in the city should be “proud” after a surge in A grades during a year of disruption to their schooling.
image captionThe Glasgow Times leads on the story of a tenant who has suffered the “hell” of a leaking roof for seven years.
image captionThe Daily Star has a spicy front page story claiming that scientists have discovered ingredients in south Asian cooking can boost women’s sex drives.

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