St Albans MP welcomes A-level grading U-turn but calls for further clarity

PUBLISHED: 17:12 17 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:11 18 August 2020

Thousands of pupils across England have expressed their disappointment at having their results downgraded after exams were cancelled due to coronavirus. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Thousands of pupils across England have expressed their disappointment at having their results downgraded after exams were cancelled due to coronavirus. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Students will now receive the grade awarded by their teacher assessment in their A-level and GCSE results if an algorithm applied to their centre-based results has led to their work being downgraded, it has been announced this afternoon.

St Albans MP Daisy Cooper has taken to Twitter calling for clarity on how this government U-turn will affect university places that have already been given based on last week’s results.

Almost 40 per cent of grades had dropped down from teachers’ predictions by an algorithm by Ofqual – The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation – resulting in many missing out on university places.

Gavin Williamson has annouced a government U-turn on A-level grades after an algorithm downgraded many student's results.Gavin Williamson has annouced a government U-turn on A-level grades after an algorithm downgraded many student's results.

This led to days of protesting in Westminster, and it has now been announced that students will receive grades based on what their teachers believe they deserve.

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Last week Ms Cooper wrote to education secretary Gavin Williamson asking for action to be taken, as many St Albans students had missed out on univeristy places as a result of the algorithm.

Following today’s announcement by Mr Williamson, she tweeted: “Govt U-turn on A-level results to allow teacher grades is very welcome but where is Johnson?

“Where are his ministers? Where is the apology? What’s the plan for unpicking this unholy mess with universities where places are already allocated? When can students re-sit? Appalling...”

Gavin Williamson said in a statement: “This has been an extraordinarily difficult year for young people who are unable to take their exams. We worked with Ofqual to construct the fairest possible model but it is clear that the process of allocating grades has resulted in more significant inconsistencies that can be resolved through an appeals process.

“We now believe it is better to offer young people and parents certainty by moving to teacher assessed grades for both A and AS level and GCSE results.

“I am sorry for the distress this has caused young people and their parents but hope this announcement will now provide the certainty and reassurance they deserve.”


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