Exams for students were cancelled earlier this year due to closure of schools amid the coronavirus pandemic, with ministers promising a fair system to assign grades to pupils who would have taken A-level and GCSE exams.
The government announced that Ofqual [the exam regulator] and exam boards would work with teachers to provide grades for students who were no longer taking exams this summer. The Department for Education said it would work towards ensuring students are given grades which “fairly reflect the work that they have put in”.
Official figures showed nearly 40 per cent of teacher-assessed grades in England had been downgraded by Ofqual’s moderation algorithm, sparking anger among schools and students. Gavin Williamson faced backlash over data which showed private schools had increased the proportion of students being awarded top grades by more than double that of state schools. Boris Johnson insisted the system had produced a “robust set of grades” and said students who were unhappy with their results could appeal or take a resit exam this autumn. 'Robust' being the new black.
That was last week, today [Monday 17-Aug-2020] the UK government has not only done a u-turn on A-Levels but also GCSE's which are not released until Thursday.
In what appreas to have been the most effective student protest ever, Gavin Williamson and Ofqual have apologised to students and their parents, as they announced that all A-level and GCSE results in England will be based on teacher-assessed grades.