Pupils will find out A Level results teachers thought they deserved

Here’s what you SHOULD have got! Pupils will find out the results teachers thought they deserved when schools send out staff-assessed marks with downgraded A-level grades today

  • Teachers will tell pupils what the predicted grades they submitted for them were 
  • It comes after nearly 40 per cent of grades were downgraded after moderation
  • Now, schools will email teacher-assessed grades to pupils, while others will make them available upon request 

Teachers will send emails to pupils today revealing the predicted grades they thought they deserved for their A-level results. 

It is set to trigger fury after nearly 40 per cent of teacher-predicted grades in England were downgraded after moderation. 

Initially, A Level results would have been decided by the grades, before the government changed its policy and introduced a computer algorithm to ensure the marks are broadly similar to previous years. 

The move brought anger, with claims that the process could lead to the most disadvantaged pupils suffering. 

Now, some schools will send out the teacher-assessed grades that they submitted.

Other schools said that the results were available to email as soon as pupils requested them. 

Students burn their A-Level results at the London Dungeon today as pupils find out whether they have got a university place

Benita Stipp (centre) and Mimi Ferguson (left) react as students at Norwich School receive their A-Level results today

It comes amid fury at the government’s last-minute decision to allow pupils to use their mock grades.  

Less than 48 hours before results were released, pupils in England were told that they would be able to claim their mock grade as their final result if it is higher than the one they get from the exam board. 

This would be through an appeals process with exam regulator Ofqual in charge of approving which mocks are eligible to be entered. 

However, several head teachers have warned that mock exams are not a measure of ability or hard work. 

Some schools even said that they are marked harshly to terrify pupils into working harder.  

Liz Laybourn, head teacher at Burgess Hill Girls, in Sussex, told the Times: ‘This year’s cohort of A level students has already faced a very tough six months and the impact on their wellbeing and mental health has been huge. 

‘Now the uncertainty and stress has been compounded further with the government’s overnight bombshell that seems to rely more on mock exams.’ 

A sixth form student is embraced after receiving her A-Level results at The Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halfax today

David Goodhew, head teacher of Latymer Upper, west London, said: ‘To have it sprung on schools and universities overnight with 24 hours to go is appalling. How are we meant to advise anxious pupils and parents . . . when we’re as much in the dark as they are?’ 

Today’s results saw thousands of pupils’ grades downgraded after this year’s summer exams were cancelled because of Covid-19 despite record-high results.

The proportion of A-level entries awarded an A grade or higher has risen to an all-time high, with 27.9 per cent securing the top grades this year, figures for England, Wales and Northern Ireland show.

But exam boards downgraded nearly two in five (39.1 per cent) pupils’ grades in England, according to data from Ofqual – which amounts to around 280,000 entries being adjusted down after moderation. 

Nearly 40% of A-levels are downgraded: Despair for tens of thousands of students as 280,000 exams are marked down – but number of A and A*s rises to all-time high 

Key statistics in this year’s A-level results 

  • The proportion of candidates receiving top grades is the highest on record. A total of 27.9% of entrants scored either an A or A*, up from 25.5% in 2019.
  • Some 9.0% of entrants received an A*. This is another record high, and is up from 7.8% last year.
  • The overall pass rate (grades A* to E) was 98.3% – again, another record high. It is up from 97.6% in 2019.
  • Some 78.4% received a C or above, up from 75.8% in 2019 and the highest since at least 2000.
  • Girls have extended their lead over boys in the top grades. The proportion of girls who got A or higher was 28.4%, 1.1 percentage points higher than boys (27.3%). Last year, girls led boys by just 0.1 percentage points (25.5% girls, 25.4% boys). Boys briefly took the lead in 2017 and 2018, following a long period in which girls had been ahead.
  • The gap between the best-performing boys and girls has fallen slightly. The proportion of boys who got A* was 9.3%, 0.5 percentage points higher than girls (8.8%). Last year, the gap was 0.7 points.
  • The most popular subject this year was maths. It was taken by 94,168 entrants, up 2.5% on 2019.
  • Psychology was the second most popular subject, overtaking biology. It was taken by 65,255 entrants, up 1.0% on 2019. Biology slipped to become the third most popular subject, taken by 65,057 entrants, a fall of 6.0%.
  • ICT (information and communications technology) saw the biggest drop in candidates for a single subject with more than 1,000 entrants, falling by 15.3% from 1,572 to 1,332.
  • Computing saw the biggest jump in candidates of any subject with more than 1,000 entrants, rising by 11.7% from 11,124 to 12,426.
  • There were 780,557 A-levels awarded, down 2.6% on last year’s total (801,002) and the lowest number since 2004.

Thousands of pupils’ results have been downgraded after this year’s summer exams were cancelled because of Covid-19 despite record-high results.

The proportion of A-level entries awarded an A grade or higher has risen to an all-time high, with 27.9 per cent securing the top grades this year, figures for England, Wales and Northern Ireland show.

But exam boards downgraded nearly two in five (39.1 per cent) pupils’ grades in England, according to data from Ofqual – which amounts to around 280,000 entries being adjusted down after moderation.

Teachers were told to submit the grades they thought each student would have received if they had sat the papers, alongside a rank order of students, after exams were cancelled amid the pandemic. 

Exam boards moderated these grades to ensure this year’s results were not significantly higher than previously and the value of students’ grades were not undermined. It comes as:

  • The proportion of entries awarded the top A* grade this year has surged to 9 per cent;
  • 27.9 per cent of entries were awarded an A or A* grade, up by 2.4 percentage points on last year;
  • The total number of students accepted on to UK degree courses has risen nearly 3 per cent;
  • 78.4 per cent received a C or above, up from 75.8 per cent in 2019 and the highest since at least 2000.

In England, a total of 35.6 per cent of grades were adjusted down by one grade, 3.3 per cent were brought down by two grades and 0.2 per cent came down by three grades, figures from Ofqual show.

But overall, the proportion of entries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland awarded the top A* grade this year has surged to 9 per cent – the highest proportion since the top grade was first introduced in 2010.

In total, 27.9 per cent of entries were awarded an A or A* grade this summer, which is up by 2.4 percentage points on last year when 25.5 per cent achieved them.

The figures, published by the Joint Council for Qualifications, cover A-level entries from students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland where around 300,000 students are receiving their results.

The Government announced late on Tuesday that students in England will have the ‘safety net’ of being able to use mock exam results as the basis for an appeal if they are higher than the calculated grade.

It came hours after Scotland’s Education Secretary announced that moderated calculated grades would be scrapped following an outcry after more than 124,000 results were downgraded. 

Speaking about the A-level results, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: ‘While there has been an overall increase in top grades, we are very concerned that this disguises a great deal of volatility among the results at school and student level.

‘We have received heartbreaking feedback from school leaders about grades being pulled down in a way that they feel to be utterly unfair and unfathomable. They are extremely concerned about the detrimental impact on their students.’

He added that school leaders are ‘dismayed’ that the statistical model used to standardise grades has had a ‘devastating impact.

Mr Barton said: ‘We are now calling on the government and the exam regulator Ofqual to review the situation as a matter of urgency, and we would warn them against simply digging in their heels, and insisting all is well.’

Dr Philip Wright, director general of JCQ, said: ‘Students across the UK receiving their A-level results today should be proud of their grades, which reflect their hard work and commitment over the previous two years.

‘Thank you to all the teachers, senior leaders and exams officers whose efforts to produce the Centre Assessment Grades will mean students are able to move on to the next phase of their education or into employment.

A-level pass rate broken down by nation & region

Here is the A-level pass rate (students receiving A*-E grades) broken down by nation and region. The figure in brackets is the change in percentage points on 2019.

  • England 98.2% (up 0.7)
  • Wales 98.6% (up 1.0)
  • Northern Ireland 99.1% (up 0.8)
  • North-east England 98.7% (up 0.4)
  • North-west England 98.4% (up 0.4)
  • Yorkshire & the Humber 98.4% (up 0.6)
  • West Midlands 97.8% (up 0.7)
  • East Midlands 98.2% (up 0.7)
  • Eastern England 98.3% (up 0.7)
  • South-west England 98.4% (up 0.7)
  • South-east England 98.4% (up 0.6)
  • London 98.0% (up 1.1)
  • All 98.3% (up 0.7)  

 

Rates for students receiving the top grades 

Here are the rates for students receiving the top grades (A* and A). The figure in brackets is the change in percentage points on 2019. 

  • England 27.6% (up 2.4)
  • Wales 29.9% (up 2.9)
  • Northern Ireland 33.2% (up 2.3)
  • North-east England 24.9% (up 1.9)
  • North-west England 25.3% (up 1.7)
  • Yorkshire & the Humber 25.4% (up 2.2)
  • West Midlands 24.2% (up 2.2)
  • East Midlands 24.4% (up 3.4)
  • Eastern England 28.0% (up 2.3)
  • South-west England 28.6% (up 2.8)
  • South-east England 30.7% (up 2.4)
  • London 29.8% (up 2.9)
  • All 27.9% (up 2.4)

 

‘This is a moment for students to celebrate their learning and we wish them all the best as they take their next steps in life.’ 

It was also revealed today that the total number of students accepted on to UK degree courses has risen nearly 3 per cent.

University admissions service Ucas said 358,860 people from across the UK have been accepted so far this year – a 2.9 per cent increase compared to results day 2019.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said 97 per cent of youngsters who are receiving their results today will be getting either the grade the school actually gave, or within one grade of what that school gave. 

Emily Kate Pettite from London tweeted that her sister had mock results of AAA but ended up getting BBC in her exams 

One of the first students to open her results this morning was Megan from Wyke College in Hull, East Yorkshire, who was left frustrated after receiving an A and two Bs – but needed three As to get into Leeds University.

She told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘I’m a bit disappointed, and I think I could have got my three As if I did my exams. I think I deserved three As so it’s just annoying. I’m just hoping Leeds will let me in with these grades.’

Megan’s headmaster Paul Britton said: ‘We get amazing results at Wyke, loads of our students have got fantastic achievements this year, but it’s just completely unfair on students like Megan.

‘Some sort of standardisation process has meant that she hasn’t got the grades that she should’ve got. Yes, hopefully you’ll still get into university, but it’s still not right that these young people haven’t got the correct draw.’ 

But some pupils took to Twitter to complain about not being able to access the ‘track’ section of the Ucas website after it crashed, leaving thousands unable to find out whether they got the grades needed to head to university. 

A Ucas spokesman said: ‘At 8am we saw a surge in demand for our website, seven times higher than at the same point last year. We immediately responded and increased our capacity and the service returned to normal within 30 minutes. 

‘We apologise for the frustration this has caused, and we are here to help students throughout the day.’

Meanwhile Abbie Cooper, a student at Coleg Gwent near Newport in South Wales, tweeted this morning: ‘After getting Cs and Bs in mocks all year and in work, these are the grades I get… WHAT THE F***?’  

She then posted an email screenshot showing that she had got a U in biology and Ds in psychology and politics, with the college saying that staff ‘hope that you’re delighted with your results today’.

Emily Kate Pettite from London tweeted that her sister had mock results of AAA but ended up getting BBC in her exams. She wrote: ‘Her mock results were AAA, her centre assessed results were A*,A,A* which she 100 per cent deserves, yet because of clever Boris’s algorithm she’s ended up with BBC … HOW do you come to that result when NONE of her work has ever been graded that?’  

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