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Despair and joy in the British generation of Covid exams


Coronavirus-Affected Students A level mayhem yesterday promised to resonate after the predicted top grades were downgraded and feared they would miss out on the university's dreams.

A government algorithm recalculated teachers' suggested grades, downgrading 40 percent of the scores.

On a day of contrasting emotions for teenagers:

  • The general success rate (grades A * to E) reached a record level of 98.3 percent compared to 97.6 percent in the previous year, while 27.9 percent achieved either an A or an A * – the highest result of all time of 25.5 percent last year;
  • More students than ever before have secured a place, including record levels from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • But heads complained about "the most bizarre and random assignment of notes imaginable".

Teens who lost said the post's re-evaluation was "unfair" and was affecting their mental health.

But for some it was still partying, with a pair of identical twins who both went to Oxford – albeit with different colleges.

Here, youngsters from across the UK describe the joys and despair of a results day like no other …

Left to right: Victoria Sniadowska, Tamzin Iyayi and Aqsa Ali. Wiktoria Sniadowska said she would "definitely" appeal after a computer algorithm just cut her on the BBC

Sixth grade, in which three top students were awarded

Several sixth grade college students were demoted after getting the best predicted grades.

Wiktoria Sniadowska said she would "definitely" appeal after a computer algorithm just cut her on the BBC.

She is continuing her studies at Leyton Sixth Form College, London, where she will earn an Art Foundation Diploma.

But she said, “I know if I had taken my exams I would have got better grades. It's unjust. & # 39;

Tamzin Iyayi lost a place in Cambridge after being removed from A * AA in history, law and politics. She said, "I just feel disappointed in the government."

Aqsa Ali was offered places to study politics and international relations.

But she missed it after downgrading a B in Politics and a C in History and Religious Studies.

She said, "It has a huge impact on my sanity and confidence."

Young supervisor robbed of the university square

A young supervisor has lowered his high school diploma by up to three grades, which casts doubt on his university plans.

Besides his mother, Maks Ovnik looks after his grandmother 102 on the Isle of Wight.

He got ABB in his ridicules and his school gave him AAB in math, computers, and physics.

However, these have been downgraded from Ofqual to ADE, meaning that he will lose his place to study physics in Southampton.

Appeal 18-year-old Maks believes his scores were downgraded based on his school's performance last year. He said, "It's not a nice feeling at all."

Besides his mother, Maks Ovnik looks after his grandmother 102 on the Isle of Wight

Besides his mother, Maks Ovnik looks after his grandmother 102 on the Isle of Wight

Identical A * s for twins to Oxford

Identical twin sisters make their way to Oxford together – but are eventually separated when they attend different colleges.

Arianne and Enyala Banks have always followed similar paths, and it was no surprise when they both got four A * s.

But they'll finally split up as Arianne (pictured in blue and white picture) will be studying law under French law at Mansfield College while Enyala (in maroon top) will be studying materials science at Queen's College.

Arianne studied French, history, politics and biology at Cardiff Private Sixth Form College, while Enyala studied mathematics, physics, chemistry and history.

Enyala said of her A-level experience, “It was the first time Arianne and I made separate friends, maybe because we chose such different subjects.

"As a Gemini, this is quite unusual as we are very similar in many ways, but also have very different sides of our personalities."

Arianne and Enyala Banks have always followed similar paths, and it was no surprise when they both got four A * s

Arianne and Enyala Banks have always followed similar paths, and it was no surprise when they both got four A * s

From Iraqi patient to paramedic in Cambridge

A refugee who left Iraq as a toddler for urgent medical treatment in Great Britain has earned a place in Cambridge after four A * s to study medicine.

Buraq Ahmed, 18, suffered from an excruciating hip disease. When he was three years old, his parents sold their home to fund the UK surgery.

Buraq, pictured as a child, came with Grandma Saadiyah, 69 – and they couldn't go home because of the Iraq war.

The teenager, who studied biology, chemistry, business and math at Cardiff Sixth Form College, said, “After spending so much time in hospitals and having some of my happiest times cared for by amazing NHS nurses, I decided to help other people . & # 39;

Buraq Ahmed (pictured with his grandmother Saadiyah Khattab) suffered from an excruciating hip disease. When he was three years old, his parents sold their home to fund the UK surgery

Buraq Ahmed (pictured with his grandmother Saadiyah Khattab) suffered from an excruciating hip disease. When he was three years old, his parents sold their home to fund the UK surgery

Buraq, pictured as a child, came with Grandma Saadiyah, 69 - and they couldn't go home because of the Iraq war

Buraq, pictured as a child, came with Grandma Saadiyah, 69 – and they couldn't go home because of the Iraq war

Poorer students are hardest hit by downgrades to A-Level, with 10% lowering of grades – but the record number of students is still going to university as the percentage getting A * s or A's climbs to an all-time high

The teachers gave "implausibly high" forecast grades for A-level students, according to the regulator

Teachers submitted "implausibly high" predicted grades even though A-level scores were widespread, according to the examining board.

Nearly 40 percent of the results were downgraded based on teachers' predictions, official data shows, leading to complaints from students who said the system let them down.

However, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations (Ofqual) ordinance now claims that a minority of teaching staff are providing significantly inflated grades, the Telegraph reports.

A spokesperson for the regulator said: “As circumstances have resulted in the inability to develop a common approach to grading, the standards used by different schools and colleges vary significantly.

"A few centers have given implausibly high judgments, including one in which all A * and A grades were submitted for students in two subjects in which a normal distribution had previously taken place."

After the 2020 exams were canceled due to the coronavirus, this year's grades were calculated using a statistical model that takes into account student performance in the past along with their school's historical grades and a ranking created by teachers.

Important statistics for this year's A-Level results

  • The proportion of candidates who receive top marks is the highest ever recorded. A total of 27.9% of participants achieved either an A or an A *, up from 25.5% in 2019.
  • About 9.0% of the participants received an A *. This is another record high, up from 7.8% last year.
  • The general success rate (grades A * to E) was 98.3% – another record high. It is up from 97.6% in 2019.
  • 78.4% received a C or higher, up from 75.8% in 2019 and the highest value since at least 2000.
  • Girls have expanded their lead over boys in the top grades. The proportion of girls with A or higher was 28.4%, 1.1 percentage points more than that of boys (27.3%). Last year, girls led boys by just 0.1 percentage points (25.5% girls, 25.4% boys). After a long time in which girls were ahead, the boys briefly took over the lead in 2017 and 2018.
  • The gap between top performing boys and girls has narrowed slightly. The proportion of boys who received A * was 9.3%, 0.5 percentage points higher than that of girls (8.8%). Last year the gap was 0.7 points.
  • The most popular subject this year was math. It was adopted by 94,168 participants, an increase of 2.5% compared to 2019.
  • Psychology was the second most popular subject and overtook biology. It was attended by 65,255 participants, an increase of 1.0% compared to 2019. Biology became the third most popular subject, which was attended by 65,057 participants, which corresponds to a decrease of 6.0%.
  • ICT (information and communication technology) saw the largest drop in candidates for a single subject, with more than 1,000 participants, falling by 15.3% from 1,572 to 1,332.
  • Computing saw the largest increase in candidates of all subjects, with more than 1,000 attendees, rising 11.7% from 11,124 to 12,426.
  • 780,557 Abitur examinations were awarded, which corresponds to a decrease of 2.6% compared to the previous year's figure (801,002) and the lowest number since 2004.

Students from the poorest backgrounds were hardest hit by today's A-Level scores fiasco. 10 percent saw their scores downgraded.

A government computer algorithm changed the grades recommended by teachers, with 40 percent of all exams being lowered.

Data shows that 74.6 percent of sixth graders from poor families expected a C or higher today – but that number rose to 85 percent – an increase of 10.4 percent – as grades were downgraded by the government's algorithm.

In contrast, students from middle-income families saw a 9.49 percent decline, while students from the richest backgrounds were downgraded by 8.3 percent.

Nonetheless, a record number of students from the poorest backgrounds are attending the university this year. Universities are tempering their offerings amid the chaos caused by the cancellation of exams and the decline in foreign students.

Figures from the University and College Admissions Service show that this year more than 20,000 18-year-olds from the poorest backgrounds in England entered the university.

That's nearly 19 percent of their cohort, up from 16.1 percent last year, despite today's uncertainty.

In Wales, 17.4 percent of the poorest students graduated and in Northern Ireland 18.3 percent.

In total, more than 210,000 young people were accepted into university courses, a record number for the final day.

Another record was that 30.2 percent of all 18-year-olds were admitted to the university, although there was 1.5 percent fewer in the UK that year.

Including people of all ages, 358,860 people from across the UK have taken university places this year – a 2.9 percent increase from earnings date in 2019.

After a significant decrease in the number of EU students from 26,440 to 22,430, around 4,000 study places will be free.

However, the total number of foreign students rose by 2 percent to 34,310.

It happens when private schools outperform others, when they get top marks.

The proportion of A or A * grades in independent schools rose by 4.7 percent from 43.9 percent to 48.6 percent this year.

The increase is more than twice as high as in the state sector.

Overall, the proportion of students who achieved the top grade rose by 2 percent, in academies by 1.7 percent and in grammar by 1.2 percent.

Sixth grade, FE and tertiary schools, saw an increase of just 0.3 percent.

Carl Cullinane, a researcher with social mobility charity The Sutton Trust, said the data was "raising eyebrows".

He said the disproportionate increase in top grades in private schools could either be due to their "generally higher As rate" or because their smaller class sizes helped them escape the statistical moderation process.

It comes as:

  • The proportion of contributions that received the top grade A * this year has risen to 9 percent;
  • 27.9 percent of the entries received the grade A or A *, an increase of 2.4 percentage points compared to the previous year.
  • The total number of students enrolled in UK courses has increased by almost 3 percent.
  • 78.4 percent received a C or higher, up from 75.8 percent in 2019 and the highest value since at least 2000;
  • Education Secretary Gavin Williamson insisted that inflating A-Level scores would hurt the "future prospects" of a generation;
  • Former Ofsted boss Sir Michael Wilshaw said students had been badly disappointed with the system, principals and the government.
  • Students used social media to reveal their disappointment as their scores are way below their bogus exams.

The numbers of poorer students whose grades have been downgraded more than others are part of a technical analysis Ofqual released on Thursday for the release of the A-level results for England.

Ofqual said there was no evidence that a "bias" had been introduced into the moderation system after the exams were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The differences between the change in the forecast and the final results are "relatively similar" in all socio-economic groups.

A-level trends: Farewell to general studies, as girls are more boys than boys in science

Here are six trends in this year's A-Level results, from topics that bowed down to those on the way up:

– General farewell studies

This year there were no entries for general A-level studies. Ten years ago there were 46,770. The topic declined before it was officially unavailable as a high school graduation in 2017, although there were still 41 entries last year. Two other topics have also passed: communication studies and critical thinking. Both had around 2,000 entries 10 years ago.

– Spanish on the rise

Last year Spanish overtook French to become the most popular language at A-level. This year the gap has widened: Spanish entries rose 0.9% while French entries fell 1.1%. Deutsch recorded an even steeper decline, falling 6.2% and falling below 3,000 entries for the first time.

– Drama and music on the way down

Entries for music have decreased 43% since 2010, while drama has decreased 42%. Both have spent most of the past decade in decline. Drama fell 6% between 2019 and 2020, while music fell 3%.

– There are more girls than boys in science

For the second year in a row, there were more female than male entries in the natural sciences. When the numbers for biology, chemistry and physics are combined, girls accounted for 80,854 entries (50.9%) and for boys 78,122 (49.1%). Although boys continue to dominate physics (77% of entries), girls make up the majority of entries for both biology (64%) and chemistry (54%).

– Computing has the greatest imbalance between the sexes

While most of the entries for physics were from boys, it wasn't the topic that showed the greatest imbalance between the sexes versus men. That was computers where boys made up 86% of the entries and girls made up 14%. The largest imbalance towards women was in the performing / expressive arts, where girls made up 90% of the posts and boys only 10%.

– Psychology is superior to biology

The most popular subject this year was mathematics (94,168 entries), as it had been in recent years. In second place, however, there was a change: Psychology (65,255 entries) overtook biology (65,057 entries). Psychology has risen around 10,000 entries since 2014, and that – plus a drop in biology entries this year of around 4,000 from last year – allowed it to take second place.

The regulator said it was "difficult to draw firm conclusions" about the relationship between deprivation and class adjustment.

It was highlighted that its analysis did not take into account the differences in the generosity of schools in submitting the predicted grades.

Research also found that teachers tended to "overestimate the grades of disadvantaged students to a greater extent".

Ofqual said that in recent years, students with less deprivation have had higher grade scores, meaning that there was less margin for oversized predictions compared to candidates with more deprivation who tend to get lower scores overall.

Dr. Michelle Meadows, executive director of strategy, risk, and research at Ofqual, told reporters Thursday that her analysis showed that the exam scoring model used that year contains no evidence of systematic bias.

She added, "Results for different groups, whether by socioeconomic status, ethnicity or gender, the results for these groups are very similar to those in previous years."

Dr. Meadows said that research literature covering A-level predictions for freshman college students shows that "there is a tendency to be more generous to students with lower socioeconomic status".

Commenting on whether there is a link between social disadvantage and moderation in exam scores, she said, "There has been a tendency towards more generosity in predictions for students with lower socioeconomic status and background."

She added, "There is a small effect of a larger difference between the final grades calculated and the grades used for evaluating the center."

High school graduates across the UK were in limbo today as their teachers scrambled to appeal against tens of thousands of "unfair" downgraded results released just three weeks before the university deadline.

A chaotic race for college places has taken place after 280,000 results were downgraded after this year's summer exams were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic despite record results.

Ministers introduced a revised system for England late Tuesday to allow further appeals but are not ready yet. According to Ofqual, the Examination Board, the appeal process will not be finalized until next week.

It is feared that the change will result in almost every school trying to appeal. And since the deadline for fulfilling your university's offer has expired in a little more than three weeks, many objections cannot be filed on time.

University leaders have had urgent talks with a minister of education to clarify the new rules.

But Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said 97 percent of the teens who get their scores today either get the grade the school actually gave or within a class of what that school gave.

The proportion of A-level participants who received an A grade or higher has risen to an all-time high. 27.9 percent have secured the top marks this year, as the numbers for England, Wales and Northern Ireland showed this morning.

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

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

Students are discussing their options after receiving their A-Level results at the City Academy Hackney in East London this morning

Students are discussing their options after receiving their A-Level results at the City Academy Hackney in East London this morning

Emily Wallace (center) smiles as the Norwich School students in Norfolk receive their A-level results this morning

Emily Wallace (center) smiles as the Norwich School students in Norfolk receive their A-level results this morning

One of the first students to publish their results this morning was Megan of Wyke College in Hull, East Yorkshire. She got an A and two Bs, but it took three A's to get into Leeds University

A sixth grade student is hugged after receiving her A-Level results at Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halfax today

A sixth grade student is hugged after receiving her A-Level results at Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halfax today

Twins Rosy (left) and Teddy Valentine (right) react as the Norwich School students receive their A-Level scores this morning

Twins Rosy (left) and Teddy Valentine (right) react as the Norwich School students receive their A-Level scores this morning

Newham Collegiate sixth grade students react as they receive their A-level grades in East London this morning

Newham Collegiate sixth grade students react as they receive their A-level grades in East London this morning

However, according to Ofqual, the examination boards in England have downgraded nearly two out of five (39.1 percent) student grades. This corresponds to a correction of around 280,000 entries after moderation.

Private schools see a far higher increase in top marks for others

Private schools outperformed others when they got top marks this year.

The proportion of A or A * grades in independent schools rose by 4.7 percent from 43.9 percent to 48.6 percent this year.

The increase is more than twice as high as in the state sector.

Overall, the proportion of students who achieved the top grade rose by 2 percent, in academies by 1.7 percent and in grammar by 1.2 percent.

Sixth grade, FE and tertiary schools, saw an increase of just 0.3 percent.

Carl Cullinane, a researcher with social mobility charity The Sutton Trust, said the data was "raising eyebrows".

He said the disproportionate increase in top grades in private schools could either be due to their "generally higher As rate" or because their smaller class sizes helped them escape the statistical moderation process.

Teachers were asked to submit the grades they believed any student would have received if they had taken the papers along with a ranking of students after exams were canceled during the pandemic.

Examination boards moderated these grades to ensure that this year's results were not significantly higher than before and that the value of student grades was not undermined.

In England a total of 35.6 percent of the grades were reduced by one grade, 3.3 percent by two grades and 0.2 percent by three grades, as figures from Ofqual show.

Overall, the proportion of entries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that received the top grade A * this year has risen to 9 percent – the highest proportion since the top grade was introduced in 2010.

In total, 27.9 percent of the entries this summer received the grade A or A *, which corresponds to an increase of 2.4 percentage points compared to the previous year, when 25.5 percent achieved this.

Figures published by the Joint Council for Qualifications refer to A-Level entries from students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where around 300,000 students receive their results.

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

It came hours after the Scottish Minister of Education announced that moderated calculated grades would be scrapped after an outcry after more than 124,000 scores were downgraded.

Ministers in England are facing new demands to follow Scotland's leading and scrapped exam grades after today's A-Level scores.

On Tuesday, the Scottish Education Minister announced that after an outcry, the downgraded grades would be reverted to teacher estimates.

Overall, the proportion of entries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that received the top grade A * this year has risen to 9 percent – the highest proportion since the top grade was introduced in 2010.

Nicola Sturgeon hints that Tories are showing signs of hypocrisy when they delete a tweet that slams them

New Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross insisted he wasn't afraid to criticize his own party after the British government's controversial handling of A-level results left him in an awkward position.

Mr Ross, who became party chairman just last week, had been very critical of the Scottish government for being forced to do a U-turn on moderated grades, downgrading more than 124,000 results.

After the UK government's method of moderating English high school graduation grades sparked a similar outcry on Thursday, Mr Ross tweeted, “Some say I'm having trouble with exam results in England.

& # 39; My job as the head of @ScotTories is to get the best for young people and everyone in Scotland. It is not my job to support the British Government in all matters. I will challenge them if I think they are wrong, ”he added.

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon hinted that the Tories showed signs of hypocrisy when she referred to a tweet by the Scottish Conservatives that was deleted in today's turmoil in England.

Yesterday's original post had read: “Nicola Sturgeon led one of the greatest scandals in the history of decentralization, which destroyed the life chances of thousands of Scottish students. Your belated apology is not good enough for the teachers, parents, and students who were hit by this fiasco. & # 39;

Ms. Sturgeon claimed the distance was "meaningful".

However, the Scottish Tories insisted that the tweet was deleted due to a misspelling and replied, “We deleted a tweet due to a misspelled letter. It took you a week to correct the grades of 75,000 students. & # 39;

Unions now urge ministers in England to use the teachers' predicted grades after Ofqual announced 39.1% of A-level grades were downgraded after moderation.

Jo Grady, general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU) said, “The government must accept that this is badly wrong, stop trying to pull a rabbit out of its hat, and keep things simple by making predictions Used by teachers – what happened in Scotland. & # 39;

Larissa Kennedy, President of the National Union of Students (NUS) said: “England must follow Scotland's lead and scrap moderated grades to give all students the grades assessed by their teachers.

“We need to see what this will mean for individual students without such action, many of whom will miss the opportunity to attend the university of their choice because of this process.

"If 3 percent of students downgraded their results by two grades, it means thousands of students are getting results that don't reflect their true abilities."

Commenting on the A-Level results, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and University Leaders (ASCL) said, “Although overall top grades have increased, we are very concerned that this is masking much of the volatility of school and student-level results.

“We have received heartbreaking feedback from school principals that grades are being lowered to the point where they feel absolutely unfair and unfathomable.

"They are extremely concerned about the adverse effects on their students."

Mr Barton said, "We are now calling on the government and the Ofqual Examination Board to urgently review the situation and we would warn them not to just dig on their heels and insist everything is fine."

Ellie French, an A-level student from Basildon, accused the board of examiners of "playing around with the futures of people" after her downgraded results resulted in her being rejected from her chosen university course.

Eighteen-year-old Ellie had hoped to study history in Nottingham, but her C in history means that despite the A grades in English and politics, she has been turned down and is now going through the clearing.

She told PA she expected "at least an A" in the story, adding, "In all of my ridicules I've ever made, I've never gotten lower than a B. I never got a C, me." m always As and Bs.

“My school sent me my results and they also rated the teacher and gave the final grade and our final grade. For me the story was: Final grade: A; Teacher Rating: A; Final grade: C. & # 39;

Ellie, who was studying at Appleton School in Benfleet and intends to appeal over the grade, said she had no idea why she got a C.

Helen Lee (left) and Sophia-Ellis Shipp bump their elbows at Peter Symonds College in Winchester this morning

Helen Lee (left) and Sophia-Ellis Shipp bump their elbows at Peter Symonds College in Winchester this morning

Nadiya Khair (left) is congratulated by her Aunt Shaheda Frame at Peter Symonds College in Winchester this morning

Nadiya Khair (left) is congratulated by her Aunt Shaheda Frame at Peter Symonds College in Winchester this morning

Students are nervously waiting to discover their college opportunities after receiving their results at City Academy Hackney today

Students are nervously waiting to discover their college opportunities after receiving their results at City Academy Hackney today

A-level success rate broken down by nation and region

Here is the A-Level Success Rate (students who earn A * -E grades) broken down by nation and region. The number in brackets shows the change in percentage points compared to 2019.

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

Prizes for students who get the top marks

Here are the prices for students who get the top marks (A * and A). The number in brackets shows the change in percentage points compared to 2019.

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

No apologies from Boris Johnson as he insists the results are "robust".

Boris Johnson has insisted that the exam results released today are "robust" and "reliable".

The Prime Minister said, “Well, first of all let me say that I want to congratulate all of the students who have worked so hard to get the grades that they have and that they did so well.

“And let's have no doubt, the exam results we have today are robust, they are good, they are reliable for employers, but I already think that there are a record number of candidates, of students, who can do theirs complete the first elective course at the university of your choice.

"Also, there is a record number of students, students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who can now go to university because of those grades."

Mr Johnson also said he had confidence in Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

He said, “I think obviously it would be very difficult if there weren't any formal exams this year like we usually have because of the virus. We had to use the system we have.

“I think it's robust and like I said, a couple of things that I think are very important – first, more students than ever can go to the university of their choice to take the course of their choice.

"And when it comes to children, disadvantaged students can go to university more than ever. This year they are going to university based on the grades they have today."

When asked if he had confidence in Mr. Williamson, he said, “Of course, but I think this is a robust system that is reliable for employers.

"It is very important that in the years to come people should be able to look at these grades and find them robust and reliable."

"I honestly don't know," she said. “It seems like they are randomly choosing who can move up and down in the class. That makes no sense.

“I'm just very upset and confused. If I had taken the exam, I would have got the grades I should have got. It just feels so stupid. I feel like they don't really know what they are doing.

& # 39; You really screwed it up. I blame the board of examiners and I think they are just playing around with people's futures. & # 39;

One student who got five A * grades at A-Level and wants to study medicine at Cambridge University said that she feels she does not have her results completely because she has not taken any exams this year.

18-year-old Ranya Kumar earned four A * grades at Norwich School today, in addition to an A * in math from last year.

She said she was "very happy" to get the grades needed for a trip to Cambridge, but it was "hard" to know that they were being given by an algorithm.

"I feel like I can't completely own my results because I didn't write the exams, which is a tough feeling," said Norwich's Ranya. But I think as long as you get to the next level it matters. & # 39;

She said there will "always" be a stigma around A-level scores awarded this year, "but when you get into university you will deserve it again".

Waiting for results day was "a difficult time," she said, adding: "The uncertainty has been quite worrying.

“You don't have the certainty of knowing that you did your best because I lost this preparation time. I couldn't do that. & # 39;

Abby, from Hull, said she burst into tears after seeing she reached DDE, which meant she missed both her corporate and insurance college places.

She told the BBC: “My future is completely reset. I may have to wait a year or two now to go to university.

"There have been a lot of people crying who haven't got the results we want and it's because of something that wasn't our choice."

Abbie Cooper, an AS student from Cwmbran, said she was "distraught" after receiving two Ds and a U.

The 17-year-old said, “Last year I couldn't go to college much due to anxiety and mental health problems, but every time I did a mock up or a job I still got a D, a C, or a B. That The DS I got had upgraded to a B and a C at the end of the year, and mine predicted at the end of the year was a BBB.

"I thought I pretty much got at least a C, but I checked my results this morning and it was U-D-D."

Abbie, who is attending Colleg Gwent, received D grades in Politics and Psychology and a U in Biology and is now concerned about what the results will mean for her study prospects.

"It feels like they just got a number or letter generator and gave you a grade based on that," she said.

“It sucks because I need these to apply for university next year because these are my projections for university. How can I go anywhere with these? & # 39;

(From left) Issy Kilbride, George Pack, Ed Harris, Holly Laidles and Emily Chestney at Balcarras School in Cheltenham today

(From left) Issy Kilbride, George Pack, Ed Harris, Holly Laidles and Emily Chestney at Balcarras School in Cheltenham today

Two students share their A-Level results today at the City Academy Hackney in East London

Two students share their A-Level results today at the City Academy Hackney in East London

Jodi Anyster (left) has A * A and is going to Liverpool while Saoirse Easton-Lawrence (right) is AAB and is going to Sheffield from Balcarras School in Cheltenham

Jodi Anyster (left) has A * A and is going to Liverpool while Saoirse Easton-Lawrence (right) is AAB and is going to Sheffield from Balcarras School in Cheltenham

A student and teacher react as she reviews her A-level scores at Ark Academy in London this morning

A student and teacher react as she reviews her A-level scores at Ark Academy in London this morning

Charity Bradley (right) reacts as she receives her A-Level results at the City Academy Hackney in East London today

Charity Bradley (right) reacts as she receives her A-Level results at the City Academy Hackney in East London today

Abbie, who is a member of the Welsh Youth Parliament, said she knew a lot of people whose grades were lower than expected.

The student is "devastated and so upset" after her B was downgraded to an E.

One college student was "devastated and so upset" after getting an E in physics despite being predicted with a B – meaning she missed a geography degree at the University of Birmingham.

Holly Barber, 18, who lives in Bradford, West Yorkshire, received lower than expected grades in every subject she took.

Her father Tim, 55, told Metro.co.uk: “She feels like she has wasted two years of her life. It's hard to see how an algorithm can know her better than her teachers, who have spent so much time with her.

“We prepared for her grades to go down a bit, but she lost five grades in total. It doesn't feel like it has any point. & # 39;

The teenager is now planning to appeal her findings and has been given a place at Liverpool University instead.

She said, “I'm pretty upset. But I'm good in the sense that it's out there now and people know and when people are in the same boat they know they are not alone. I know people who were predicted to get A * s and got Bs. It's awful. & # 39;

She hopes to address her grades.

The Association of Colleges (AoC) has written to Mr. Williamson to request an urgent review of the standardization process for A-Level results.

David Hughes, executive director of the AoC, said he had heard from a number of colleges that more than 50% of their grades had been revised downwards.

He said: “We are deeply concerned that the adjustment process may have penalized larger centers such as universities and those with historically strong value-added data.

"Colleges with large cohorts and very stable and predictable results over time have the lowest grade profile ever, especially in the higher grades A through C."

The letter to the government and Ofqual stated: “A technical review could now examine this and would prevent hundreds of universities from seeking individual appeals. It would show that you are transparent and take the concerns seriously. & # 39;

It adds, "We cannot look when the evidence suggests that many thousands of students missed their grades due to a systemic bias."

After meeting A-level students at a sixth grade college in Darlington, Labor Chief Sir Keir Starmer said, “The algorithm didn't work as 40% of students were downgraded and schools and colleges weren't even rated Standardization is in place This approach has failed in the last two or three years.

“The government needs to reset, rethink, and rule out nothing else, including the kind of U-turn that was forced on the Scottish government last week when it had to return to assessment.

Sixth grade students at Newham Collegiate in East London are reacting after receiving their A-level scores this morning

Sixth grade students at Newham Collegiate in East London are reacting after receiving their A-level scores this morning

Students take a moment to prepare to open the envelope containing their A-Level scores today at City Academy Hackney

Students take a moment to prepare to open the envelope containing their A-Level scores today at City Academy Hackney

Newham Collegiate Sixth Form students line up in East London this morning to receive their A-level scores

Newham Collegiate Sixth Form students line up in East London this morning to receive their A-level scores

Newham Collegiate sixth grade students react after receiving their A-Level results in East London this morning

Newham Collegiate sixth grade students react after receiving their A-Level results in East London this morning

Union leader Sir Keir Starmer speaks to students at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington this morning

Union leader Sir Keir Starmer speaks to students at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington this morning

Newham Collegiate Sixth Form students pose for a picture after receiving their A-Level results in East London today

Newham Collegiate Sixth Form students pose for a picture after receiving their A-Level results in East London today

"Something must be done to remedy this injustice."

Identical twin sisters make their way to Oxford but will attend different colleges

Arianne and Enyala Banks

Arianne and Enyala Banks

Identical twin sisters make their way to Oxford University together – but are eventually torn apart when they go to different colleges.

The hardworking Arianne and Enyala Banks have always followed in each other's footsteps and even achieved identical exam results.

The determined duo, aged 18, both received 14 A * s from GCSE before receiving scholarships to sixth grade college. They then graduated from high school and gained places in Oxford.

But their ways are finally going their separate ways, as they have chosen different subjects for their undergraduate studies. Arianne will study law under French law at Mansfield College – while Enyala will study materials science at Queen & # 39; s College.

Arianne from Cardiff said: “I am so interested in how the legal world is changing, and especially in which laws we keep and which we change from within the EU. When I combine law with French, I can look at the international side of law and I really look forward to learning more about the British and French legal systems. & # 39;

Arianne graduated from Cardiff Independent Sixth Form College with French, History, Politics and Biology. Sister Enyala studied math, physics, chemistry, and history in the same college, but was less sure what she wanted to do in college.

She then went to an Oxbridge conference in Swansea, South Wales for inspiration. Enyala said, “This was the first time I was introduced to materials science.

"I really liked the structure of the Oxford course and the mixture of physics, chemistry and mathematics in this subject. It is very broad and ties in well with my EQP in nuclear energy."

Both girls, who are members of the Welsh National Opera, joined the six-grade college on a 100 percent scholarship from their local state school.

Enyala added: "The change of school was a really good preparation for university life and it definitely made me more independent and more cosmopolitan."

And Enyala says that her time in college also gave her and her sister time to grow individually. She said, “It was the first time Arianne and I made separate friends, maybe because we chose such different subjects. As a Gemini, this is quite unusual as we are very similar in many ways, but also have very different sides of our personalities. & # 39;

Arianne added, “We're used to answering each other's names. It was refreshing to actually have a space of our own and to realize that not only were we similar, but we had space to develop very different talents. "

Sir Keir said the government did not plan for the A-level results. "This is not something that has come up in the last day or two," he said.

“This problem of how you judge children and young people without exams has been around for weeks and months, and here, within a few hours, the government is changing the rules. I think most people will say that this is a fundamental lack of planning. & # 39;

Earlier, Sir Keir tweeted: “Obviously there was a terrible mistake in this year's exam results.

“Almost 40 percent of young people have their grades written down, and that's thousands of young people whose opportunities could have been ruined.

“Parents, teachers and young people are right to be angry, frustrated and angry about this injustice. The system has fundamentally failed them.

& # 39; The government urgently needs to rethink. We need to guarantee individual complaints, no complaints fee, and nothing to rule out, including the U-turn that was imposed on the Scottish government last week. & # 39;

Sir Keir said Labor would allow individuals, not schools, to submit appeals for their grades, it would waive the appeal fee for them, and would bring schools and universities together to introduce a more flexible application process.

Sir Keir said, “Of course there are always those who are satisfied and those who are not, but that reflects one person's application in a day exam.

“That can of course be annoying if you don't get the grades you want after an exam.

"Here we have young people who are told that the system told them that they were not worth that grade. That is the injustice that is felt very deeply. & # 39;

The Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA) said school principals found large differences between teacher-predicted A-level exam grades and actual grades.

Bill Watkin, chairman of the SFCA, said the government's model for calculating this year's grades was "flawed and unreliable".

He said, "A fundamental goal of the process was to ensure the comparability of audit results from year to year. The clear evidence from our members is that the standardization model has not achieved this at all."

A quick poll of 100 SFCA members found that more than a third of school principals found that their overall exam scores fell below their historical performance.

Mr. Watkin added, “The government can only save this situation and ensure that thousands of students are not disadvantaged by basing results solely on middle graded grades – the predictions of teachers.

"This is the only alternative to what has proven to be a failed government experiment to come up with a fair standardization process."

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT school principals union, said he was "concerned" about results that were lowered by two or more marks.

Ofqual figures show that 3.3 percent of entries in England fell by two grades and 0.2 percent after moderation fell by three grades.

He said, “Schools used a wide range of evidence to submit grades for their students, and we would wonder how such a significant change could be fair to these students.

"It is important that these students get the results they deserve, not the results that match a school or college's past performance profile."

Eighteen-year-old Lorna Gauvain earned three A * grades at Norwich School and plans to start studying forensic psychology at the University of Kent after a year in 2021.

She said the results were what she hoped for but added, "In the first few months, it didn't really feel like they were our results."

Lorna, who lives near Wroxham in Norfolk, said: “I was happy and very relieved. I had already planned a year abroad, but yeah, I thought about it (what university life might be like during the pandemic) and decided that it would be better to wait a year. & # 39;

Sophie Lofthouse (left) and Hannah Walton-Hughes react as students at Mount School in York get their results today

Sophie Lofthouse (left) and Hannah Walton-Hughes react as students at Mount School in York get their results today

A student reacts as she reviews her A-Level scores at Ark Academy in London this morning

A student reacts as she reviews her A-Level scores at Ark Academy in London this morning

Students hug after collecting their A-level scores at Ark Academy in London this morning

Students hug after collecting their A-level scores at Ark Academy in London this morning

Students burn their A-Level scores at the London Dungeon today while students find out if they have a place to study

Students burn their A-Level scores at the London Dungeon today while students find out if they have a place to study

Dr. Philip Wright, General Manager of JCQ, said, “Students across the UK who are receiving their A-Level results today should be proud of their grades, which reflect their hard work and dedication over the past two years.

“Thank you to all teachers, officers, and examiners whose efforts in establishing the grades for evaluating the center mean students can move on to the next phase of their education or employment.

"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."

In the meantime, a spokesman for the Brampton Manor Academy in East Ham, East London tweeted: For the third time in a row, over 100 students are currently achieving A * -A grades.

& # 39; The 2020 class broke our impressive record of 38 Oxbridge seats in 2019. This incredible success is despite a fundamentally flawed system. These talented students deserve even better results. & # 39;

It was also announced today that the total number of students enrolled in UK courses has increased nearly 3 percent.

According to Ucas, a university admissions service, 358,860 people have been enrolled from across the UK so far this year – a 2.9 percent increase from earnings day 2019.

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

She told ITV's Good Morning Britain: “I'm a little disappointed and I think I could have gotten my three like I did my exams. I think I deserved three. It's just annoying. I just hope Leeds lets me in with those grades. & # 39;

Matilda Auty reacts when students at Mount School in York receive their A-Level results this morning

Matilda Auty reacts when students at Mount School in York receive their A-Level results this morning

Sixth grade students clink their fists after getting their A-Level results at Hemel Hempstead School in Herfordshire today

Sixth grade students clink their fists after getting their A-Level results at Hemel Hempstead School in Herfordshire today

A sixth grade student poses with a piece of paper after getting his A-Level results at Hemel Hempstead School today

A sixth grade student poses with a piece of paper after getting his A-Level results at Hemel Hempstead School today

Megan's Headmaster Paul Britton said, “We are getting amazing results at Wyke, many of our students have done fantastic results this year, but it's just completely unfair to students like Megan.

“A kind of standardization process has resulted in her not getting the grades she should have.

"Yeah, hopefully you'll still get to university, but it's still not right that these young people don't have the right draw."

However, some students took to Twitter to complain that after the crash they could not access the Track section of the Ucas website, leaving thousands unable to find out if they had received the grades required to attend university .

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

"We apologize for the frustration this has caused and we are here to help the students all day."

In der Zwischenzeit hat Abbie Cooper, ein Student bei Coleg Gwent in der Nähe von Newport in Südwales, heute Morgen getwittert: "Nachdem ich das ganze Jahr über Cs und Bs verspottet und gearbeitet habe, sind dies die Noten, die ich bekomme … WAS ZUM F ***?"

Anschließend veröffentlichte sie einen E-Mail-Screenshot, aus dem hervorgeht, dass sie ein U in Biologie und ein D in Psychologie und Politik erworben hat. Das College sagte, dass die Mitarbeiter "hoffen, dass Sie heute mit Ihren Ergebnissen zufrieden sind".

Emily Kate Pettite aus London hat getwittert, dass ihre Schwester Scheinergebnisse von AAA hatte, aber am Ende BBC in ihren Prüfungen bekam. Sie schrieb: 'Ihre Scheinergebnisse waren AAA, ihre vom Zentrum bewerteten Ergebnisse waren A *, A, A *, die sie zu 100 Prozent verdient, aber aufgrund des cleveren Boris-Algorithmus ist sie bei BBC gelandet … WIE kommen Sie zu diesem Ergebnis? Wann wurde KEINE ihrer Arbeiten jemals so bewertet? & # 39;

Eine Studentin in Northampton eröffnete ihre Ergebnisse zusammen mit zwei ihrer Mitschüler, die live bei Sky News leben. Sie war überglücklich, als sie ihren Umschlag öffnete und sagte: „Ich könnte weinen. Wirklich gut. Ich habe einen A-Stern in meinem EPQ und erwartete einen A. Es ist, was ich wollte. Ich bin so glücklich.

Ihr Kommilitone fügte hinzu: „Ich bin wirklich sehr, sehr glücklich. Ich habe BCB, damit bin ich zufrieden. & # 39;

Der dritte war ebenso begeistert und sagte: „Ich bin wirklich glücklich. Ich habe genug, um an die Universität zu gehen, also bin ich wirklich glücklich. & # 39;

„Es hat mich definitiv viel mehr belastet, was in Schottland passiert ist. Ich war viel nervöser als ich gewesen wäre. & # 39;

Rund 316.730 der 358.860 zugelassenen Personen haben ihre erste Wahl getroffen – ein Plus von 2,7 Prozent gegenüber dem gleichen Zeitpunkt im Jahr 2019. Die Zahl der Studenten, die in Pflegekurse aufgenommen wurden, ist um 13,2 Prozent auf 24.750 gestiegen.

Bisher haben insgesamt 415.600 Studenten einen bestätigten Platz in einem Grundstudiengang in Großbritannien. Dies entspricht einer Steigerung von 1,6 Prozent gegenüber dem Ergebnistag des vergangenen Jahres und folgt einem Rückgang von drei Jahren.

Vier Prozent oder 14.370 der platzierten britischen Studenten planen derzeit, den Beginn ihres Kurses zu verschieben, was dem gleichen Anteil entspricht wie zu diesem Zeitpunkt im letzten Jahr.

Mittlerweile wurden 34.310 internationale Studierende von außerhalb der EU aufgenommen (plus 2 Prozent), während die Akzeptanz von Studierenden innerhalb der EU um 15,2 Prozent auf 22.430 gesunken ist.

Ucas fügte hinzu, dass ein Rekord von 20.280 Schülern im Alter von 18 Jahren aus den am stärksten benachteiligten Verhältnissen in England in die Universität aufgenommen wurde – ein Plus von 7,3 Prozent gegenüber dem Ergebnistag des letzten Jahres.

Dies bedeutet, dass 18,8 Prozent aller jungen Menschen mit dem am stärksten benachteiligten Hintergrund ein Bachelor-Studium beginnen müssen – ein neuer Höchststand für den Ergebnistag.

In Wales wurden 17,4 Prozent aus den am stärksten benachteiligten Verhältnissen (1.310 Studenten) akzeptiert, und in Nordirland liegt der Anteil bei 18,3 Prozent (790 Studenten) – beides sind ebenfalls neue Rekorde.

In ganz Großbritannien wurden 30,2 Prozent aller 18-Jährigen oder 210.260 Studenten über Ucas aufgenommen – ein weiterer Höchststand für den Ergebnistag, obwohl in der britischen Bevölkerung 1,5 Prozent weniger 18-Jährige leben als im Vorjahr.

Der Gegenwert für 2019 betrug 28,2 Prozent. Das Clearing wurde am 6. Juli eröffnet und 7.600 Personen haben es bereits genutzt, um ihren Platz zu sichern, darunter 3.860, die sich direkt beim Clearing beworben haben.

Insgesamt wurden im Jahr 2019 73.320 Personen über Clearing vermittelt, wobei sich 19.640 erstmals direkt für Clearing für einen Kurs bewarben.

Clare Marchant, Geschäftsführerin von Ucas, sagte: „In einem Jahr wie keinem anderen sollten die Studenten stolz auf ihre Leistungen sein.

'Es ist besonders ermutigend, Rekordzahlen von jungen Menschen aus benachteiligten Verhältnissen mit einem bestätigten Studienplatz und einer Zunahme von Bewerbern zu sehen, die für ihre erste Wahl zugelassen wurden.

„Wir alle schätzen Krankenschwestern und Schlüsselkräfte zu Recht sehr und sie haben eindeutig eine neue Generation dazu inspiriert, sich ihnen anzuschließen. Die Zahl der Studenten, die in Pflegekurse aufgenommen wurden, stieg um 13,2 Prozent auf 24.750.

'Universitäten und Hochschulen planen, Studenten so sicher wie möglich in ihren Kursen willkommen zu heißen, was gut aufgenommen wurde, da wir einen ähnlichen Anteil an platzierten Bewerbern sehen, die derzeit planen, aufzuschieben, wie im letzten Jahr.

„Wir sind bereit, Studenten zu unterstützen, und Clearing Plus wird diejenigen, die einen Platz suchen, mit verfügbaren Kursen abgleichen, an denen sie interessiert sein könnten.

"Auf der Ucas-Website finden Sie Informationen und Ratschläge zu allen Optionen, die jungen Menschen offen stehen. Wir sind bereit, ihnen telefonisch und in sozialen Medien zu helfen."

Dr. Michelle Meadows, Geschäftsführerin für Strategie, Risiko und Forschung bei Ofqual, sagte Reportern, dass ihre Analysen zeigten, dass das in diesem Jahr verwendete Prüfungsbewertungsmodell „keine Hinweise auf systematische Verzerrungen“ enthielt.

Sie sagte: "Ergebnisse für verschiedene Gruppen, sei es nach sozioökonomischem Status, ethnischer Zugehörigkeit oder Geschlecht, die Ergebnisse für diese Gruppen sind denen in den Vorjahren sehr ähnlich."

Dr. Meadows said that research literature covering A-level predictions for freshman college students shows that "there is a tendency to be more generous to students with lower socioeconomic status".

Commenting on whether there is a link between social disadvantage and moderation in exam scores, she said, "There has been a tendency towards more generosity in predictions for students with lower socioeconomic status and background."

She added, "There is a small effect of a larger difference between the final grades calculated and the grades used for evaluating the center."

Olivia Welsh und ihre Mutter Alex reagieren, nachdem sie heute an der Lewes Old Grammar School ihre A-Level-Ergebnisse erhalten haben

Olivia Welsh und ihre Mutter Alex reagieren, nachdem sie heute an der Lewes Old Grammar School ihre A-Level-Ergebnisse erhalten haben

Oskar Filskow hält seine A-Level-Ergebnisse heute aufrecht, nachdem er sie an der Lewes Old Grammar School erhalten hat

Oskar Filskow hält seine A-Level-Ergebnisse heute aufrecht, nachdem er sie an der Lewes Old Grammar School erhalten hat

Charlie Cooke bekommt einen Kuss von seiner Mutter Sheri, als er heute an der Lewes Old Grammar School seine A-Level-Ergebnisse erhält

Charlie Cooke bekommt einen Kuss von seiner Mutter Sheri, als er heute an der Lewes Old Grammar School seine A-Level-Ergebnisse erhält

Zoe Billyard (in der Maske) reagiert, nachdem sie heute an der Lewes Old Grammar School ihre Abiturergebnisse erhalten hat

Zoe Billyard (in der Maske) reagiert, nachdem sie heute an der Lewes Old Grammar School ihre Abiturergebnisse erhalten hat

Gabrielle Josephs vom Peter Symonds College in Winchester erhält heute Morgen ihre A-Level-Ergebnisse

Gabrielle Josephs vom Peter Symonds College in Winchester erhält heute Morgen ihre A-Level-Ergebnisse

Maia Hardman (rechts) reagiert, nachdem sie heute an der Lewes Old Grammar School ihre A-Level-Ergebnisse erhalten hat

Maia Hardman (rechts) reagiert, nachdem sie heute an der Lewes Old Grammar School ihre A-Level-Ergebnisse erhalten hat

Jasmine Owen-Moulding und ihr Vater Arthur reagieren, nachdem sie heute ihre Ergebnisse an der Lewes Old Grammar School erhalten haben

Jasmine Owen-Moulding und ihr Vater Arthur reagieren, nachdem sie heute ihre Ergebnisse an der Lewes Old Grammar School erhalten haben

Der Schulleiter des Gymnasiums schlägt ein Fiasko auf A-Level, nachdem er enthüllt hat, dass seine Schule das schlechteste Ergebnis aller Zeiten erzielt hat

Ein Schulleiter des Gymnasiums hat das diesjährige umstrittene A-Level-Bewertungssystem zugeschlagen.

Kay Mountfield, Schulleiter am Gymnasium von Sir William Borlase, sagte, dass die Noten seiner Schüler in diesem Jahr nicht mit ihren historischen Aufzeichnungen übereinstimmen.

Sie sagte: "Unsere Schüler haben die Unsicherheit dieses Prozesses positiv gemeistert und vertrauten wie wir als Schule darauf, dass das von Ofqual entwickelte System seinem erklärten Ziel treu bleibt: Es würde sicherstellen, dass die Schüler nicht als benachteiligt werden." Ergebnis, dass ich nicht die Gelegenheit hatte, an den Prüfungen teilzunehmen.

„Uns wurde versichert, dass das statistische Modell die historischen Daten der Schule und das vorherige Erreichen der Schüler berücksichtigen würde.

'Das statistische Modell hat in seiner Anwendung auf unsere Schule nicht funktioniert, da unsere Gesamtnoten auf deutlich niedriger herabgestuft wurden als alle vorherigen Noten, die Borlase erreicht hat, obwohl wir eine stärkere Kohorte haben.

'Da diese Anomalie so transparent ist, wie die Ergebnisse von den Erwartungen von Ofqual und der Schule abweichen, hoffen wir, dass dies schnell behoben wird.

"Wir werden diese Entscheidung anfechten, um sicherzustellen, dass Schüler unserer Schule und Schüler von Schulen in der Region und im Land die Ergebnisse erhalten, die sie verdienen."

Bei berechneten A-Level-Noten, die in Nordirland vergeben wurden, stieg die Schülerleistung in allen Klassenstufen. Die Erfolgsquote der Schüler, die eine A * -E-Note erreichten, stieg um 0,8 Prozent auf 99,1 Prozent.

Der Prozentsatz der Schüler, die die Bestnote A * erreichten, stieg um 1 Prozent auf 9,8 Prozent, während der Anteil der Schüler, die die Note A * oder A erreichten, um 2,3 Prozent auf 33,2 Prozent stieg.

Studentinnen übertrafen ihre männlichen Kollegen in den höchsten Klassen erneut, wobei der Abstand weitgehend dem der letzten Jahre entsprach.

Mit dem berechneten System verbesserte sich auch die Leistung auf AS-Ebene gegenüber 2019. Der Prozentsatz, der eine Bestnote A erreichte, stieg um 2,1 Prozent auf 29,4 Prozent. Diejenigen, die eine A-E-Note erreichten, stiegen um 0,9 Prozent auf 96,4 Prozent.

Der Großteil der Ergebnisse (86 Prozent) wurde von der nordirischen Vergabestelle, dem Rat für Lehrpläne, Prüfungen und Bewertungen (CCEA), veröffentlicht.

Die restlichen 14 Prozent der Ergebnisse stammten aus Prüfungen, die von anderen britischen Vergabestellen durchgeführt wurden. Heute Morgen wurden in der Region 27.791 A-Level-Ergebnisse veröffentlicht.

Following the cancellation of exams in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the exam bodies had been instructed by Stormont Minister for Education Peter Weir to ensure the calculated results in 2020 were broadly in line with performance in recent years.

While an increase has been recorded, the CCEA is content the rise is not significant enough to impact the integrity of the results set.

Data indicates that the increases in attainment would have been significantly higher if the predicted grades assessed by teachers were used without standardisation.

Teachers were asked to predict the grades of all their pupils.

In 96.7 per cent of cases, their estimates either matched or were within one grade of the final result awarded following standardisation. Of those, 58 per cent of the results matched exactly.

In 37 per cent, teachers were over-optimistic in their prediction, while in around 5 per cent of tests they underestimated the result.

While that will see many of the grades issued on Thursday being lower than those predicted by teachers, the match rate is higher than last year.

Olivia Gaskin (centre, holding results) reacts as students at Norwich School receive their results this morning

Olivia Gaskin (centre, holding results) reacts as students at Norwich School receive their results this morning

Ben Millett reacts with his father (back to the camera) as students at Norwich School receive their A-level results today

Ben Millett reacts with his father (back to the camera) as students at Norwich School receive their A-level results today

A sixth form student reacts after receiving his A-Level results at The Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halifax this morning

A sixth form student reacts after receiving his A-Level results at The Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halifax this morning

Emily Wallace (left) uses hand sanitiser as students at Norwich School in Norfolk receive their A-Level results today

Emily Wallace (left) uses hand sanitiser as students at Norwich School in Norfolk receive their A-Level results today

Ana Cacho with her parents as students at Norwich School in Norfolk receive their A-Level results this morning

Ana Cacho with her parents as students at Norwich School in Norfolk receive their A-Level results this morning

Teachers are asked to predict grades every year in Northern Ireland as part of normal assessment procedures.

In 2019, around 46 per cent of grades match the results attained by pupils and 40 per cent proved overly optimistic.

The CCEA standardisation model asked teachers to give a predicted grade for their pupils and then rank them in order within their class.

The exams body then used other data to standardise the results.

For A-levels, the CCEA model used pupils' AS level results, making adjustments for those who had applied to take resits.

For AS results, the pupils' GCSE results were used, as was the performance by their school over the previous three years.

Commenting on the results, CCEA chief executive Justin Edwards said: 'Since the cancellation of the exams, it has been a very unsettling and challenging period for the education community, particularly our students.

'Northern Ireland's students, and those across the UK, Ireland and further afield, due to Covid-19 were unable to sit their exams, as has been commonplace for so many before, and will be for so many in the future.

'All of us at CCEA, working closely with the education community, have strived to ensure that students are able to progress this year.

'As a result of this collaborative work, we have delivered grades to students which we predict they would have achieved had they sat the examinations and which carry the same value as in previous years.

Ishmael Laurent-Dixon discovers his three A* results, meaning he will be going on to study Engineering at Cambridge, as students receive their A level results at City Academy Hackney in East London today

Ishmael Laurent-Dixon discovers his three A* results, meaning he will be going on to study Engineering at Cambridge, as students receive their A level results at City Academy Hackney in East London today

Olivia Gaskin (centre, holding results) reacts as students at Norwich School receive their A-Level results this morning

Olivia Gaskin (centre, holding results) reacts as students at Norwich School receive their A-Level results this morning

Poppy Gerrard, 18, reacts as she opens her A-Level results at West Kirby Grammar School on the Wirral today. Poppy, who is a Miss England contestant, got A*s in biology, chemistry and maths - and now hopes to take maths at Manchester University

Poppy Gerrard, 18, reacts as she opens her A-Level results at West Kirby Grammar School on the Wirral today. Poppy, who is a Miss England contestant, got A*s in biology, chemistry and maths – and now hopes to take maths at Manchester University

A sixth form student looks at her A-level results at The Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halifax, West Yorkshire, today

A sixth form student looks at her A-level results at The Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halifax, West Yorkshire, today

A student reacts as he opens the envelope containing his A-level results at City Academy Hackney in East London today

A student reacts as he opens the envelope containing his A-level results at City Academy Hackney in East London today

Alicia Lake reacts as students at The Mount School in York receive their A-level results this morning

Alicia Lake reacts as students at The Mount School in York receive their A-level results this morning

Education Secretary rules out teacher's grading being used for exam results

Pupils in England will not be allowed to have their exam results upgraded when they are published today.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has ruled out England following Scotland in accepting scores estimated by teachers.

The Government announced late on Tuesday that A-level and GCSE students will be able to use results in valid mock exams to appeal if they are unhappy with their results.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph newspaper, Mr Williamson said that allowing teachers' grades to be used would see students lose out.

He said: 'We would have seen them shoot up, which would devalue the results for the class of 2020, and would clearly not be fair on the classes of 2019 and 2021.

'But worse than that, it would mean that students this year would lose out twice over, both in their education and their future prospects.'

Mr Williamson had earlier pledged the exams system will deliver 'credible, strong results' for the overwhelming majority of young people, despite concerns that many could end up with results lower than they had expected to receive.

The Scottish Government on Tuesday confirmed that it would allow for all results that were downgraded to be withdrawn and replaced by the original estimates.

It followed protests from pupils across the country angry that they had been unfairly penalised by attending schools which have not historically had high levels of performance.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said that it was a 'blatant injustice' that young people could have their futures decided by their postcode as a result of the exams system.

He said: 'Pupils and parents are rightly worried that years of hard work are about to be undone because a computer has decided to mark their child down.

'For too long, the Tories have considered the needs of young people as an afterthought when their needs should have been central.

'It's a blatant injustice that thousands of hardworking young people risk having their futures decided on the basis of their postcode.'

'Northern Ireland students have seen slight increases across grades, which are comparable with previous year-on-year performance for this particular year group.'

He added: 'The grades received by students this morning will enable them to progress to the next stage of their journey, be it in education or employment. We wish them all every success.'

Shadow education secretary Kate Green has called on ministers to act to end the 'injustice' suffered by A-level students in England who had had their results downgraded.

'It is a huge injustice that pupils will see their results downgraded just because of their postcode,' she said.

'Ministers must act urgently to correct the injustice faced by so many young people today. Students must be able to lodge their own appeals if they haven't got the grade they deserved and admissions teams must be forced to be more flexible.

'No student should see their dreams slip away because of this Government's inaction.'

It comes as students are waking up to their A-level results amid last-minute changes to appeals, with around one in four entries expected to be awarded the top grades.

Around 300,000 school leavers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are receiving calculated grades to help them progress onto university, work or training after this summer's exams were cancelled due to the pandemic.

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

It came hours after the Scottish Minister of Education announced that moderated calculated grades would be scrapped after an outcry after more than 124,000 scores were downgraded.

School and university leaders have demanded clarity from ministers on how the appeals process in England will work and whether it will be completed in time for universities opening in the autumn.

Mr Williamson ruled out further changes to the grading system in the face of any exams backlash.

He told Times Radio: 'What is clear to me is there will be some youngsters, no matter how much we try to do in terms of this system to maximise the fairness of it, who don't get the grade they should have potentially have got. That's why we need to have a really robust system, that's why we've got the triple lock.'

Mr Williamson said this would provide 'robust grounds of appeal' and allow pupils to take exams later in the year if required.

Asked if he was prepared to change the system again amid threats of legal action from parents, Mr Williamson replied: 'We're not going to be changing this system again.

'We believe that we've put in place – in terms of the triple lock, in terms of the actions we've taken – a system that is able to put its arm round those youngsters where there has been a grade that has been unfair on them and is able to put that right.'

Pupils from the most disadvantaged backgrounds would have been at 'high risk' of losing out compared to their more middle-class counterparts if exams had been delayed rather than cancelled, he added.

Lowri Howells with her A Level results at Ffynone House School in Swansea, South Wales, this morning

Lowri Howells with her A Level results at Ffynone House School in Swansea, South Wales, this morning

A sixth form student reacts after receiving his A-level results at The Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halifax today

A sixth form student reacts after receiving his A-level results at The Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halifax today

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

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

Mimi Ferguson (left) and Benita Stipp react as students at Norwich School receive their A-level results this morning

Mimi Ferguson (left) and Benita Stipp react as students at Norwich School receive their A-level results this morning

Mr Williamson was asked if he regretted not pushing for exams to be delayed until June.

Government was warned about A-level grading issues, says headteacher

The Government should have seen the A-level grades crisis coming as they were given plenty of warning, a headteacher has said.

Elisabeth Gilpin, headteacher of St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School in Bristol, welcomed the decision to scrap this year's A-level exams because of the Covid-19 pandemic but said using a statistical model to predict grades was problematic.

'There was an obvious gap in their thinking in applying a statistical model to bring down grades to those of a typical year,' she said.

'In any typical year there are always some students who do worse than expected because of trauma, bereavement, exam panic or illness.

'Teachers could not guess who these students would be so rightly gave a grade that reflected for every student the performance level they would be expected to get on the basis of the evidence available in March.

'However, by applying a statistical model of a typical year it inevitably makes all students take the 'hit' of the students that would have underachieved.'

Mrs Gilpin said Education Secretary Gavin Williamson should have acknowledged that this year's results could not be 'typical'.

'This reality has been slow to dawn on the Government and then resulted in a sudden change of heart to allow mock exam results data to be used as the basis for appeals only two days before the students get the results,' she said.

'The Government should have seen this problem coming earlier as teachers have been raising it for a while.

'Ideally, Gavin Williamson's initial instruction should have allowed for it in acknowledging that this year's results could not be 'typical' and needed to be higher to take account of the removal of normal cases of unexpected underachievement.

'This would have avoided putting students under unnecessary pressure in worrying about where they would be unfairly hit by the statistical model of adjustment.'

Mrs Gilpin said she hoped the cost of appealing the exam results would be waved in order not to disadvantage poorer students.

'I am hoping that the Government will have the generosity of spirit to ensure that exam boards waive appeal fees,' she said.

'This will prevent students in cash-strapped schools being disadvantaged.

'Given that exam boards have not had to pay examiners to mark any exams this year, I would hope that the exam boards would have the spare money in their coffers and the grace and kindness to waive these fees to help this generation of young people get a fair result.

'I am so impressed with all the extra work my teachers have put in to generate the centre assessed grades and their willingness now to put in the time in the holidays to compiling the case for the appeals to do their best to look after our precious young people.'

He replied on Times Radio: 'If we'd been in a situation where we tried to delay the exams – and this is what happened in Ireland – what became apparent is that children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, who maybe hadn't had the same level of support and help, would have been at a maybe high risk of not either turning up to those exams or not having had the same level of support in the run-up to those exams as children from more middle-class backgrounds.'

Mr Williamson said there have been 'very few examples' where delaying exams was a 'feasible' route to go down.

The Education Secretary was asked why England's exams regulator Ofqual was not in a position to tell students on results day whether they would have the opportunity to appeal their grades, after it announced it has cancelled its press conference today.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Williamson said: 'The reason Ofqual hadn't got it ready for today is because it's obviously a decision that was made sort of later on in the process, and that they are working to make sure that information is shared with schools and colleges over the next few days.'

Mr Williamson said a 'late clearing process' is expected to be available for pupils who opt to sit A-level exams in the autumn. He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'Universities are looking at being as flexible as possible.'

The Education Secretary said there will be more pupils this year with higher grades than 2019, adding: 'There's going to be more youngsters in a position where their grades are going to meet the usual exam expectations of those universities.'

On the autumn exams, he explained: 'We have been working with the university sector and we've had early discussions about making sure there's a system of clearing that can be run for youngsters to be able to start their university a little bit later than they would have ideally been wanting to do in September/October, but be in a situation of where they'd be able to join the university in January and running a sort of late clearing process.'

Mr Williamson also gave his assurance that he will not make the same exams grade U-turn as was seen in Scotland.

The Education Secretary told Sky News: 'Absolutely, when we've consulted widely, when Ofqual consulted widely (on) the whole system of awarding, this is the message that we got from everyone – this is the right approach to go forward.

'You've got to have a system that has checks and balances, that looks at the whole performance and making sure you maintain standards within the exam system, to ensure those results carry credibility.'

Mr Williamson replied 'yes' when asked if he had agreed a process with Ofqual before announcing the changes on the grading process for exams.

Asked why Ofqual has not got a process in place for assessing mock exam results, the Education Secretary told BBC Breakfast: 'Ofqual has got processes in place for appeals, there's a whole range of routes that schools can take the appeal process through but the mock exam was an important step forward to ensure there's enhanced fairness for all pupils right across England.'

He added: 'Ofqual is going to be issuing clarity as to how this is to be done, making sure that valid mock exams can form the basis of that appeal so that that child can be awarded that grade from that mock exam.'

Mr Williamson's former politics lecturer, Peter Ashton, told LBC that algorithm systems are 'not a very good idea' as they tend to disadvantage high-achieving pupils in low-performing schools.

Asked on Nick Ferrari's radio show whether his former lecturer is right, the Education Secretary said: 'Mr Ashton is always correct.

'There is sometimes a danger where you have an exceptionally high-performing child in a low-performing school to be in a situation where they don't get the grades that they want to.

'What we've asked the exam boards is, where they think there may be outliers, is actually to be contacting the schools to talk with them to make sure that appeals are put forward.

Holly Cuttiford hugs her mum after receiving her A-level results at Ffynone House School in South Wales this morning

Holly Cuttiford hugs her mum after receiving her A-level results at Ffynone House School in South Wales this morning

A sixth form student reacts after receiving her A-Level results at The Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halifax today

A sixth form student reacts after receiving her A-Level results at The Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halifax today

'The reason we've got the appeals process that we have is to ensure if there is a situation where a child is in that place that they get the grades that they deserve.

A-level students are advised to look at Clearing after last-minute grading changes

University leaders are advising A-level students to look at courses in clearing in the wake of last-minute changes to the way grades will be assessed.

Professor Julia Buckingham, president of Universities UK, told students receiving their results on Thursday not to panic if they miss out on the grades for their offer at university.

She said that universities will be as flexible as they can in the 'unusual circumstances' and that students should look at the courses available in clearing.

An analysis by the PA news agency shows that there were nearly 25,000 undergraduate courses across the UK and Northern Ireland listed with clearing vacancies.

These include nearly 4,500 courses at the elite Russell Group universities, according to the admissions service Ucas's clearing website on Wednesday.

Prof Buckingham said: 'On the eve of A-level results, our advice to students is to carry on as planned, which means if you miss out on the grades for your offer don't panic.

'Speak to your teachers for their advice and get in touch with your first-choice university as soon as possible – universities will be as flexible as they can in these unusual circumstances – and look at the courses available through clearing.'

Her comments come after ministers denied that the exam system in England had been thrown into 'confusion' following 11th-hour changes to the way A-level and GCSE results will be assessed.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced late on Tuesday that students will be able to use their results in mock tests to appeal if they are unhappy with the grades they are given.

The move came less than 48 hours before students receive their calculated A-level results following the cancellation of actual exams amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Clearing has become an increasingly popular route to securing a university place in recent years, in part due to reforms that lifted the cap on the number of students universities could recruit.

It is also used by students who may have changed their mind about their course or university and want to find somewhere new, or those who have done better than expected and want to trade places.

An analysis, conducted by PA, shows that as of Wednesday morning, for applicants living in England there were 24,970 courses with availability across 146 UK universities and colleges.

Of the 24 Russell Group universities, nearly three in four (17 universities) have at least one course advertised on the clearing site, with 4,485 courses potentially available.

Ucas chief executive Clare Marchant told PA on Monday that as many as 80,000 applicants could find a place via clearing, up from 73,325 last year, despite fears about the impact of Covid-19 on the student experience.

'I think we will end up with significant numbers through clearing,' Ms Marchant said. 'I think it's going to be probably the busiest yet.'

Anja Hazebroek, director of student recruitment and marketing at the University of Hull, said that the impact of cancelling exams on clearing was not known.

But she said that due to Covid-19 and the virus's impact on the job market, there might be more prospective students wanting to study closer to home or go to university when they had previously decided not to.

She added: 'We may have more or less students looking for clearing places, but we are well prepared to help give support and advice to all prospective students.

'With Covid impacting the job market, as well as changing people's personal priorities – such as wanting to study on a single-site campus university to avoid the need for public transport – we may see more movement than usual as people choose to go to universities closer to home or decide to go to university after previously planning not to.'

'There is no system that is as good as the exams system, and any of the system that is put in its place will have weaknesses compared to the exams system.'

Mr Williamson was asked whether Michael Gove, his predecessor as education secretary, made a mistake in scrapping AS-level exams in England, because Welsh students can rely of those grades for their results.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, Mr Williamson said: 'No, not at all. I would probably rather have liked the AS (level) system, sort of what they've got in Wales today, but there's no point in chatting about what you would maybe like.

'In truth, none of us would have wanted to be in this situation in where we've had to have exams cancelled in the first place.

'But what we saw in Republic of Ireland, where they tried to proceed with an exam process they ended up having to drop that.'

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said teachers are likely to face questions from 'disgruntled' students over appeals on Thursday which they will struggle to answer due to the last-minute announcement and lack of detail about how the process will work.

The Ucas deadline for applicants to meet their academic offer conditions is September 7, which leaves exam boards less than four weeks to issue outcomes of appeals from schools and colleges.

Some universities are concerned that students may not be given enough time to secure a final grade ahead of the start of term in autumn.

The University of the West England (UWE) in Bristol said that any delays would cause 'uncertainty around final student numbers', which could in turn affect timetabling and placements.

Ministers have urged universities to be 'flexible' and take into account a range of evidence when choosing which youngsters to admit to their degree courses on Thursday in the wake of coronavirus.

But the head of Ucas has suggested it will be a 'good year' for youngsters in Britain who want to attend university in the autumn as institutions will be competing to fill courses at a time of uncertainty.

A potential fall in overseas students amid Covid-19 – alongside a drop in 18-year-olds in the population – could help school leavers in the UK secure a place, Clare Marchant, Ucas' chief executive, has suggested.

Professor Julia Buckingham, president of Universities UK (UUK), told students that universities will be as flexible as they can and urged students to look at the courses available in clearing.

Clearing is increasingly becoming a popular route for students to find a degree course, with leading universities among those to offer last-minute places through the system.

A Press Association analysis shows that, as of yesterday afternoon, there were 24,970 courses with availability across 146 UK universities and colleges for applicants living in England.

Of the 24 Russell Group universities, nearly three in four (17 universities) have at least one course advertised on the clearing site, with 4,485 courses potentially available.

Rachel Hewitt, director of policy and advocacy at the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), believes university admissions officers and Ucas will receive more calls from students 'than ever before' following the last-minute decision to allow English students to use mock grades if they appeal.

She said: 'It may well be that this change pushes more students to seek to appeal their grades, leaving universities to consider how to manage their places between those who achieve the grades, clearing and those seeking to appeal.

'The reintroduction of the numbers cap for this year has further complicated this by restricting the places that universities have to give.'

On the changes to appeals, Mr Barton said: 'Young people are going to come in to get their grades – many of whom we hope will be delighted, some of whom will be disappointed.

'Some will be perhaps deeply disgruntled and will say 'so that appeal process using my mock exam, how does that work Miss?' and Miss isn't going to be able to reply unless we hear pretty urgently about it.

'I think there will be a sense from school leaders of us being put in a position of being on the back foot.

'I think there will be very deep frustration around that on a day which is always emotionally highly charged, but it's likely to be more so because of this announcement.'

Emily Wallace (left) uses hand sanitiser as students at Norwich School in Norfolk receive their A-level results today

Emily Wallace (left) uses hand sanitiser as students at Norwich School in Norfolk receive their A-level results today

Sixth form students react after receiving their A-Level results at The Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halifax today

Sixth form students react after receiving their A-Level results at The Crossley Heath Grammar School in Halifax today

Holly Cuttiford with her A Level results at Ffynone House School in Swansea, South Wales, this morning

Holly Cuttiford with her A Level results at Ffynone House School in Swansea, South Wales, this morning

Henry Muxworthy with his A-level results at Ffynone House School in Swansea, South Wales, this morning

Henry Muxworthy with his A-level results at Ffynone House School in Swansea, South Wales, this morning

Last year, 25.5 per cent of UK entries were awarded an A or A* grades, the lowest proportion since 2007, according to statistics published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).

Welsh education minister makes A-level promise

Students in Wales waiting anxiously for their A-level results will not receive a grade lower than their AS-levels, the education minister has announced.

Kirsty Williams said she was 'confident' the system of moderation overseen by regulator Qualifications Wales and exam board WJEC was 'fair for students and robust'.

In Wales, a different model was used to Scotland and nearly half of pupils' final mark was based on AS-levels completed last year.

This year's exams were cancelled across the UK because of the coronavirus lockdown and there are fears the replacement grading system will create a postcode lottery.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has apologised for the failures in moderation, which saw the marks of students from deprived backgrounds disproportionately downgraded.

Meanwhile UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson also apologised to pupils for the disruption to their schooling after announcing changes that will see students able to use results in valid mock exams to appeal if they are unhappy with their results.

Ms Williams said: 'Governments in other parts of the UK have introduced changes to their systems and we must make sure that these alterations do not disadvantage Welsh students.

'Students in Wales, and prospective employers and universities across the UK, can be assured that their A-level grades reflect their work and externally assessed exams.

'Almost half the final grade comes from AS-level exams – this is not the situation elsewhere.

'Therefore, in building on that completed work, I am giving a guarantee that a learner's final A-level grade cannot be lower than their AS grade.

'If a student receives a final grade that is below that of their previous AS grade, then a revised grade will be issued automatically by WJEC.

'This will mean – and I have received assurances from Ucas and universities – that students can speak with confidence to their prospective universities regarding their A-level grades.'

Ms Williams said she would be asking Qualifications Wales to 'move forward quickly' on any adjustments to the appeals process, to ensure Welsh students are not disadvantaged.

'I am confirming today that all appeals will be free for Welsh students, to ensure there is no financial barrier to ensure learners feel their exam grades are fair,' she added.

Suzy Davies, the Welsh Conservative shadow minister for education, said she was 'pleased' by Ms Williams' announcement.

She said: 'What has been absolutely crucial is to ensure there is a fair system for grading our young people on their A-level results.

'It was vital to see a safety net being implemented in Wales to make sure pupils achieved the grade they had worked towards.'

Plaid Cymru shadow education minister Sian Gwenllian added: 'This eleventh hour U-turn by the minister is an admission that the system was flawed from the off.

'The Welsh Government will be marked down severely for leaving teachers and pupils in limbo – and their hard work, initially, unrewarded.

'It is welcome that the minister has listened to Plaid Cymru calls for a free and independent appeals process.

'This will give some comfort to those pupils who have been let down in what was already a time of unprecedented anxiety.'

David Evans, Wales secretary of the National Education Union Cymru, said: 'Whilst it is disappointing that amendments to some grades have come late in the day, we hope that the Welsh Government proposals outlined by the Minister will ensure fairness for young people about to receive their grades.

'To many young people, exam grades are a ticket to their futures, and should not reflect where you live, but what you are capable of. It has been an unprecedented year for these young people, and grades must reflect their true ability for there to be confidence in the system.

'We wish every young person 'good luck' for tomorrow.'

England's exams regulator Ofqual previously said that the national results are likely to be higher this summer than previous years following disruption.

Teachers were told to submit the grades they thought each student would have received if they had sat the papers after exams were cancelled. Exam boards have moderated these grades to ensure this year's results are not significantly higher than previous years.

Mr Williamson said: 'Grades awarded today will open up the doors of opportunity for young people to progress to the next stage of their lives, whether studying at one of our world-class universities, taking up an apprenticeship or embarking on the start of their careers.

'Any students who feel they have grounds for appeal now have the safety net of being able to use their mock results as evidence, as well as the chance of sitting autumn exams, thanks to our triple lock process to ensure confidence and fairness in the system.'

He added: 'The resilience they have shown during these challenging times will serve them well and I wish them all the very best for the future.'

Meanwhile the chief executive the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has said she 'regrets' some pupils' feelings over downgraded results but insisted the moderation system used this year was fair.

Fiona Robertson appeared before the Scottish Parliament's Education Committee yesterday.

It follows a Scottish Government U-turn due to anger over nearly 125,000 results being downgraded from teacher estimates by the SQA's controversial moderation system.

The downgraded results will now be withdrawn, reverting to the original estimates.

Ms Robertson said everyone at the SQA was 'keenly aware of the concerns from young people' expressed over the past week.

In her opening remarks to the committee, she said: 'On the basis of the commission that we received from the Scottish Government, there was a clear and unequivocal case for some moderation.'

The appeals process would have dealt with any 'anomalies' in the moderated results, she said, while the SQA's equalities impact assessments showed the results were 'fair'.

Scottish Conservative MSP Jamie Greene said to her: 'I listened with intent to your opening statement but there's one word I didn't hear, and that's the word 'sorry''.

She responded: 'It was difficult to see the reaction to last week's results.

'But we were asked to fulfil a role and part of that role was to maintain standards across Scotland.

'I fully appreciate that, as I highlighted in my opening statement, young people felt that their achievements had been taken outwith their control.

'I absolutely get that and of course I regret how young people have felt about this process.'

Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer asked if one of the SQA's statisticians had resigned as the moderating system was being developed and if this was because they had concerns about the system.

She confirmed one person had resigned but said: 'I'm not privy to the full details of that particular individual.

'It probably wouldn't be fair for me to go into that in fairness to them.'

Scottish Labour's Iain Gray asked if the SQA signed off on a moderation system 'in the sure and certain knowledge that pupils in those schools with a poorer past performance would be more heavily impacted'.

Ms Robertson said the moderation process was based on data but 'the extraordinary circumstances of the year meant that we were awarding on a basis that I think we would all agree were not ideal because of the cancellation of exams'.

The SNP's Alex Neil raised what he called the 'human cost' of the system, saying he had heard from the family of a young woman who had been left 'distraught' by a downgraded result and refused to eat or leave her room for three days.

Referring to previous committee meetings which raised concerns about the methodology, he said: 'The SQA absolutely refused to listen to the committee's point about the need to consult on the methodology before it was approved.

'I think everybody and their granny knew that if you used the record of local schools you'd end up with the situation we ended up with – where the moderation process led to two and a half times the downgrades in the poorest areas than happened in the more affluent areas.'

Ms Robertson said 'where there are lessons to be learned we will learn them'.

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