Welsh government makes U-turn on A-level and GCSE results | Exams

Wales has joined Scotland and Northern Ireland in saying students will be awarded their centre-assessed grades. Wales’s education minister, Kirsty Williams, said that given “decisions elsewhere”, she had decided to back teacher assessment of students.

The decision will apply to A-levels awarded last week and the GCSE results that are due to be published on Thursday. A-level students who received higher grades than those predicted by teachers will keep those higher grades.

Northern Ireland is using teacher assessment only for GCSEs; A-level awards will stand.

The Westminster government announced a similar U-turn for England later on Monday.

More than four in 10 A-level grades predicted by teachers were lowered when Welsh results were published last week, prompting criticism from students, opposition politicians and Welsh Labour backbenchers.

Williams announced there would be an independent review of decisions made since the cancellation of exams due to the Covid pandemic.

She said: “We

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Minister admits he was warned about concerns over exams algorithm | Education

The education minister Nick Gibb has admitted he was warned about concerns that the algorithm used to determine exam grades could disproportionately affect poorer pupils.

In a round of media interviews on the morning GCSE results were published, the minister defended the standardisation system, insisting the model was fair but that it was implemented incorrectly.

He apologised to pupils for the chaos that ensued although was unable to give a firm date for the release of Btec results, which have been delayed, saying they would “hopefully” be out next week.

Asked about reports that ministers were warned weeks ago of flaws in the exams algorithm that left thousands of A-level students devastated and university admissions in disarray, he conceded he had been aware of the issue and a meeting had taken place.

The Times reported that Sir Jon Coles, a former director general at the Department for Education (DfE), wrote

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Labour urges delay to GCSE and A-level exams so students can catch up on education



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Labour has called for GCSE and A-level exams to be delayed by up to two months next summer in order to give students a chance to catch up on education missed because of the coronavirus.

The shadow education secretary, Kate Green, said that the annual series of exams for year 11 and year 13 pupils in England should be pushed back from May to June or July to allow time for extra learning.

And she said that the announcement on a new timetable should come quickly to avoid a repeat of the chaotic last-minute decision-making around this year’s A-level and GCSE results and the arrangements for this week’s return to classrooms.

In a letter to Ofqual in June, the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, confirmed that his intention was for exams to go ahead in 2021, and he asked the regulator to draw up plans for

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