Johnson and Williamson forced into U-turn over A-levels grades

Tens of thousands of A-level students in England are set to see their grades increased after a humiliating U-turn by the Government.

Following criticism from students, headteachers and a backlash by Tory MPs, grades will now be based on teachers’ assessments rather than the controversial algorithm devised by regulator Ofqual.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson had previously defended the “robust” system, which saw almost 40% of grades reduced from teachers’ predictions.

EDUCATION Alevels
EDUCATION Alevels

Mr Johnson, who is on holiday in Scotland, held crisis talks with Mr Williamson and senior officials on Monday morning.

The change will also apply to GCSE results in England, which are due to be released on Thursday.

Students who were awarded a higher grade by the moderation process will be allowed to keep it, but for many pupils, their teachers’ predictions could see their grades increased.

Ofqual chairman Roger Taylor apologised for the “uncertainty and anxiety” caused by the fiasco.

“Our goal has always been to protect the trust that the public rightly has in educational qualifications,” he said.

“But we recognise that while the approach we adopted attempted to achieve these goals, we also appreciate that it has also caused real anguish and damaged public confidence.

“Expecting schools to submit appeals where grades were incorrect placed a burden on teachers when they need to be preparing for the new term and has created uncertainty and anxiety for students. For all of that, we are extremely sorry.”