A-level and GCSE results will now be based on teacher's predicted grades

Last updated at 05:54
girl-with-sign.Reuters

A-level and GCSE grades in England will now be awarded to students based on predicted grades from their teachers, the government has announced.

The news represents a major change of plans - often described as a 'u-turn' in politics - by the government. Students' results had previously been based on moderated grades awarded by England's exam regulator Ofqual.

That means the results had been predicted by teachers, but then a computer algorithm had added in other factors, such as the performances of previous students from the school, to try and make sure the results were fair across the country.

A-level pupils received their results last week and GCSE pupils will be getting their final grades this week.

The scheme faced lots of criticism after students received their A-level results last week, with 40% of A-level results being downgraded.

students-protesting.Reuters
Lots of students gathered across England to protest following the release of their exam results

Lots of A-level students expressed their anger over the moderated results and many felt the process for calculating their final grades was an unfair one, especially for those from more disadvantaged backgrounds.

Gavin Williamson MP, who is England's Education Secretary, has apologised to students and parents who've been affected.

"This has been an extraordinarily difficult year for young people who were unable to take their exams," Mr Williamson said in a statement.

"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 than can be resolved through an appeals process."

He added: "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."

What about the rest of the UK?
students-protesting.PA Media
Some students took part in protests in Scotland before the government made its u-turn

The change follows a similar announcement made by the Welsh government earlier today. A-level and GCSE students in Wales will also be awarded their teacher's estimated grades.

In Northern Ireland, A-level students will now be able to receive their teacher's predicted grade if this is higher than the official grade they received last Tuesday.

Last week also saw the Scottish government turn to teacher's predictions following a huge backlash over moderated grades.

Some students took part in protests and expressed how the grading system used by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) had negatively impacted those from more disadvantage backgrounds.

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