Exam Shambles and Latest Government U-Turn on A-Level & GCSE Results

Year Published: 2020

39.1% of A-level results have been downgraded after exams were cancelled due to Coronavirus, dropping below a three-year average.

In England, 35.6% of marks were adjusted down by one grade, 3.3% were reduced by two, and 0.2% taken down by three.

It is estimated that 280,000 results have been affected by the Joint Council for Qualifications’ decision to standardise school grade predictions to try and achieve some consistency.

Following the cancellation of exams due to the pandemic, teachers were asked to submit the grades they predicted each student would have received if they had sat the papers, alongside a rank order of students.

After leaders in Scotland were forced to scrap the moderated results, the UK government announced that they will not be doing so. On Saturday 15th August, Ofqual, the exam regulator, published an appeals process for A Level results in England. However, the very same day, this appeals process was suspended informing that “This policy is being reviewed by the Ofqual board and further information will be published in due course’.

The Department for Education has tweeted that 98.3% of A level students have gained grades A to E, this is an increase from 97.6% on last year. A and A* grades in 2019 were at 25.5%, these have increased to 27.9% this year.

Government Makes U-turn on A-level Results

It has been announced yesterday (17th August 2020) that the Government has taken a complete U-turn over the A-Level and soon-to-be released GCSE results this week, in that the algorithm will no longer be used but instead the estimated grades provided by the students/pupils teachers.

It will be interesting to see what further developments occur this week on how this affects the overall grading structure and what the potential impact this may have moving forward.

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