Students to receive grades estimated by their teachers

The government has reversed its examinations decision and announced that A-level and GCSE students in England will be given grades estimated by their teachers, rather than that calculated by an algorithm.

The decision, which brings England in line with the other UK nations, follows outrage after approximately 40 per cent of A-level results were downgraded by exams regulator Ofqual, which used a formula based on schools' prior grades. It was expected that a similar number would be affected when GCSE results are announced on Thursday.

Roger Taylor, the chair of Ofqual, and Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, apologised for the ‘distress’ that the ‘significant inconsistencies’ caused.

Williamson said that No 10 had worked with Ofqual to design ‘the fairest possible model’ but it had become clear that the process of awarding grades had resulted in ‘more significant inconsistencies than can be resolved through an appeals process’.

The decision means that teachers' estimates will be awarded to students unless the computer algorithm gave a higher grade.

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