A timeline of failed exams
March 18th: Schools are closing and exams are being canceled as Britain comes to a standstill under coronavirus lockdown
March, 20th: Ministers say Ofqual and examination boards will develop a grades assessment system if parents fear their children may lose.
July 11th: Education Committee MPs warn that the calculated grading system could unfairly punish disadvantaged and minority students because of its calculation.
4th of August: Scottish Higher results are published. Around 100,000 grades – a quarter of the total – are assessed as part of a plan drawn up by Nicola Sturgeon by the SNP administration
August 11: Scottish Education Secretary John Swinney turns under pressure from Tories and Labor and says the predicted grades will be used in place of the algorithm.
August 11: Ministers in England decide that students can appeal their grades just two days before the English results are published, in some cases with mock exams.
13 August: Almost 40 percent of A-Level scores in England are downgraded by the Ofqual algorithm, creating widespread anger and calls for a U-turn.
15th of August: Ministers say they will fund appeals against the distributed brands to quell the anger.
15th of August: Ofqual is withdrawing its appointment criteria just hours after its publication pending review.
August 17th: Mr Williamson announced that A-Levels and GCSEs due to be released on Thursday will be calculated based on predicted grades if he calls for his resignation.
Ministers made a humiliating U-turn today, agreeing that A-Level and GCSE scores in England will be based on teachers' assessments after a furious argument over grades.
Regulatory Authority Ofqual confirmed this afternoon that England would follow steps already taken by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland after a controversial computer algorithm tagged thousands of teenagers.
It was announced that students could rate either the adjusted grade or the estimate made by their teachers higher.
Boris Johnson, who is vacationing in Scotland, has been under increasing pressure to climb since last week and this morning cut his hiatus for a conference call with under-fire Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and officials.
Previously, both had defended the "robust" system in which almost 40 percent of grades were reduced based on the teachers' predictions.
Conservatives, Labor and Lib Dem MPs, along with angry teachers, union bosses and education leaders, have attacked the government's handling of the dispute.
Mr. Williamson apologized to students and parents who were affected by "significant inconsistencies" with the grading process and asked him to resign or be dismissed.
"This has been an extremely difficult year for young people who could not take their exams," he said.
"We worked with Ofqual to create the fairest possible model. However, it is clear that the process of assigning grades has resulted in more inconsistencies than can be resolved through an appeal process."
He added, “We now believe that it is better to provide security to young people and parents by switching to teacher graded grades for A and AS levels, as well as GCSE scores.
"I am sorry for the hardship this has caused young people and their parents, but I hope this announcement now provides the reassurance and security they deserve."
However, it is unclear whether students who have lost a place after the devaluation can regain it. Mr Williamson raised the maximum number of seats tonight to allow more students to attend.
Union leader Keir Starmer said: “The government had months to clear exams and has now been forced into a screeching U-turn after days of confusion.
"This is a victory for the thousands of young people who have made their voices heard over the past week."
The U-turn came when:
- A-Level and GCSE grades for students in Wales and Northern Ireland are also awarded based on teacher ratings
- Gavin Williamson was faced with calls to quit, inside and out. Tory ranks above his handling of the mess
- The Head of Universities UK warned that replacing grades "would create challenges at this late stage in the admissions process".
Mug & # 39; s game: Education Secretary Gavin Williamson (who is posing for pictures in his office today has come under fire for the government's A-level algorithm – even some Ofqual board members criticize him and the opposition urges him to stop)
Students hold placards as they protest outside the constituency office of Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, who has been under pressure to resign
The algorithm resulted in many high-performing students from poorer areas being deprived of their places at top universities. It is unclear if they can get these places back now if their grades improve
Young protesters have raised banners and placards with pictures of Gavin Williamson demanding that the Secretary of Education be sacked in Parliament Square in central London yesterday
2020: The year of the U-turn of the coronavirus
The government's A-Level and GCSE U-turn is the latest abrupt reversal during lockdown and weary lockdown amid significant public and background anger.
Here are the other times when they had to retire quickly.
Coronavirus app contact tracking plans have been discarded
On April 12, Mr. Hancock announced a new NHSX contact tracing app, promising it would be "critical" in preventing coronavirus transmission.
The app was tested on the Isle of Wight to be rolled out nationwide in May.
On June 18, however, the government abandoned plans for its own app and instead allowed Apple and Google to take over the project.
A trial version of the new app was announced on August 13th, again involving the Isle of Wight and NHS volunteer respondents in the UK.
However, no date has yet been confirmed for a national introduction.
Elementary school children returning to class
In early May, Williamson announced the government's ambition that all elementary school-age children in England would be in school for at least four weeks before summer.
But on June 9, he said there was "no choice" but to ditch those plans amid fears the two-meter rule of social distancing would make a full return impossible.
In August, the government announced that all students in all annual groups would return to school for a full day from the beginning of the fall semester.
Schools need to take action, including improving cleaning practices, washing hands more often, and holding back students and family members with Covid-19 symptoms when they return.
Coronavirus test target
On April 2, Health Secretary Matt Hancock set a goal of having 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of the month.
At the daily government briefing on May 1, Hancock said test numbers hit 122,347 on April 30.
However, the numbers included the number of home tests sent (27,497) as well as the number of tests sent to satellite locations (12,872).
The number of tests actually processed has been suggested to be closer to 81,978 – just short of the government's target.
Bereavement expanded for NHS staff
Following criticism that nurses, cleaners and porters were banned from a Home Office program that grants families of health workers permanent residency in the UK if they die of Covid-19, the government announced on May 20 an extension of the program.
The program was launched in April to help families affected by the pandemic.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the extension would take effect "immediately and retrospectively".
NHS surcharge for foreign health and care workers
A day later, on May 21, the Prime Minister stood by the fee charged by foreign health workers for using the NHS.
However, just hours later, due to increasing pressure from older Tories, it was announced that foreign health and care workers would be exempted from the regulation.
Union leader Sir Keir Starmer called the turnaround a "victory for common decency".
Voucher for school meals
English footballer Marcus Rashford has been credited with playing a key role in forcing the government to reverse its decision not to extend the children's grocery voucher program to the summer holidays.
On June 16, Cabinet Secretary Grant Shapps said that free school meals are usually not extended into the summer period.
A few hours later, No. 10 withdrew and confirmed that the program would indeed be extended.
The next day, Health Secretary Matt Hancock mistakenly spoke "Daniel Rashford" on Sky News for his campaigning efforts.
A former Tory minister suggested replacing Mr. Williamson.
Rep. George Freeman said the audit process was "a total mess" and told Times Radio, "Ultimately, the prime minister is responsible. And I think he will take control of it and get it under control and want to show that his administration is doing the job Takes the life chances of a generation of children seriously …
"I've been told that you know the Prime Minister plans to reshuffle in the fall and I dare say he wants to take it all into account."
Robert Halfon, Tory chairman of the Commons Education Committee, said the government had "serious questions" to answer about how exam results are handled this summer.
Speaking to the BBC's PM program, he said: "I was hoping that with Ofqual they would have developed what is called a ronseal appeal system – it does what it says it does," that was clear, that was easy to understand, that was fair that any student could have appealed through their headmaster if they thought their grade was unfair.
“I would also have hoped Ofqual would have gone to the schools to explain about their standardization process.
"None of this happened and there are clearly serious questions to be asked about what on earth has happened."
A-Level and GCSE exams were canceled this year due to a disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Increasing demands were made for ministers to drop a controversial algorithm that was instead used to calculate scores after many students saw a downgrade in their predicted grades, with harder ratings for those attending government schools with historically poor results and those at the top public school.
As a result, many high-performing students from poorer areas were deprived of their places at top universities. It is unclear if they can get these places back now if their grades improve.
Mr Williamson told Sky this afternoon that he discovered over the weekend that there were "injustices" within the grading system.
"When the system turned out to be injustices, it was right to act," he said in an interview.
“Over the weekend I realized that there was a level … a number of students who were getting grades that honestly they shouldn't have gotten and that should have done a lot better.
& # 39; And the evidence from both Ofqual and other outside bodies was evident that action needed to be taken.
"When we took a closer look on Saturday and Sunday, it became clear that further measures had to be taken."
Lib Dem leadership candidate and education spokeswoman Layla Moran urged Mr. Williamson to quit or be fired after the exams fiasco.
She tweeted: "This U-turn is a victory for common sense and rightly answers calls from Liberal Democrats and others, but it should never have come this far.
& # 39; Despite the warnings, the education minister's botched handling of grade prices has made countless young people stressed and anxious. The Prime Minister must show leadership and apologize personally for the mess in his government.
“While it is embarrassing for the government, it was unbearable for students. It is clear that the education minister is overwhelmed. If it doesn't go, it has to be pushed.
“There is still a long way to go to clear this mess. The government needs to provide the clarity young people need, including university support and resources to ensure that all tentative offers are met.
"In addition, ministers must follow the example of the Welsh Minister of Education and commit to an independent review of the process – this is what transparent and accountable leadership looks like."
Alistair Jarvis, Managing Director of Universities UK, said: & # 39; The events and confusion of the past few days have added further uncertainty and distress to students who have already faced many difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The well-being of the students must come first, and universities are as flexible as possible with applicants and will continue to help students find a suitable place to study.
'Today's policy change means more students will get the grades that match what their university has to offer. This will create challenges at this late stage in the admissions process – capacity, staff, internships and facilities – especially given the social distancing measures in place.
“The universities will do everything possible in the coming days to solve these problems. The government needs to strengthen and support universities in the challenges posed by this late change in policy. We are urging the government to provide urgent clarification and advice on a number of crucial issues. & # 39;
“Almost 70 percent of students are already accommodated at their first choice institution, but those who don't should think carefully about their next steps, speak to their parents, guardians and teachers, and contact their preferred university to get in touch they advise options. & # 39;
Dr. Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEW), described the government's handling of exam grades as a "shameful episode".
She warned: “For many students, this announcement will create further uncertainty if they are rejected by their course and university of choice due to the imprecise and unfair Ofqual award process.
Wales and Northern Ireland follow England in abandoning the algorithm
A-Level and GCSE grades for students in Wales and Northern Ireland are also awarded based on teacher ratings, according to the decentralized administrations.
Anger reigned in Wales after qualifications in Wales cut 42 percent of teachers' projected A-level results, while in Ulster Education Minister Peter Weir was under pressure to act.
He said this afternoon that the highest predicted grade will be given to A-level students, with new grades expected to increase by more than 10 percent.
The Minister said: “There are still concerns about the impact of changes in the qualifications system across the UK and every possible solution has its shortcomings. However, my main concern is to ensure that young people in Northern Ireland are not put at a disadvantage in any way compared to other peers. "
His Welsh counterpart Kirsty Williams confirmed that the grades A-Level, AS-Level, GCSE, Skills Challenge Certificate and Welsh Baccalaureate in Wales will now be awarded based on the grades of the Center Assessment.
"Faced with other choices, the balance of fairness now lies in giving students center marks despite the strengths of the system in Wales," she said.
"I am making this decision now, before the results are published this week, so that there is time for the necessary work."
“Young people have suffered enough. Their chances in the job market are slim as the country faces rising unemployment and a recession.
"Gavin Williamson should now announce that the university entrance limit is being lifted so that more young people who have worked so hard to get their high school diplomas can continue their studies and reach their full potential."
In a statement announcing the change, Ofqual Chairman Roger Taylor said, “We understand this has been a stressful time for students who received exam results last week for exams they never took.
“The pandemic created circumstances that nobody could have imagined or wished for. We want to take steps now to spare young people as much stress and insecurity as possible – and to free minds and teachers to work towards the important task of opening all schools in two weeks.
“After deliberation, we decided that the best way to do this is to assign grades based on the teachers submitted. The move to the center assessment grades applies to both AS and A levels and the GCSE scores that students will receive later this week.
“There was no easy solution to the problem of assigning exam scores when no exams have taken place. Ofqual was asked by the Foreign Minister to develop a system for awarding calculated grades that would maintain the standards and ensure that grades are largely in line with previous years. Our goal has always been to protect public trust in educational qualifications.
“We recognize, however, that while the approach we have taken has attempted to achieve these goals, we also appreciate that it has also caused real agony and damaged public confidence. The expectation that schools would submit appeals with wrong grades weighed on teachers as they prepare for the new semester and created uncertainty and fear among students. We are very sorry for all of this.
"We have therefore decided that this summer the students will receive their assessment for the center – that is, the grade that their school or college estimated, the grade that they would most likely have achieved in their exam – or the moderated grade, whichever is higher.
& # 39; The path that we want to implement now will urgently provide clarity. We are already working with the Ministry of Education, universities and all other stakeholders. & # 39;
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), welcomed the decision to "end the assessment fiasco".
He said, “Students, parents and teachers will breathe a sigh of relief after days of confusion and ministers trembling.
'That decision will, of course, mean there will be an inflation rate this year, but that is a small price to pay for removing the obvious inequalities caused by the grades moderation statistical model.
"It will provide A-level students with the convenience of an immediate resolution and give GCSE students the comfort of knowing they will not suffer the same injustices in the results that are due to be released this week."
And Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT school leaders' union, warned that delays have made it difficult for universities to find places for students.
Mr Whiteman said, “The big question remains why it took so long to make this decision, as it may be too late for some high school graduates who have already missed their first choice for a university and course.
Eton leads leading private and high schools in sophisticated government scrap algorithms
Eton's principal has led calls from private and high schools to abandon the controversial algorithm that set the results at A-Level.
Simon Henderson, Eton's director, said some students saw their teacher graded grades being downgraded by the standardization process, sometimes by more than one grade, "and in ways we find blatantly unfair on many occasions".
Mr Henderson said that it was the first year in a subject that students at the school had studied a particular curriculum and therefore there was no direct historical data on past performance.
"Rather than accepting our CAGs and / or considering alternative historical data in the previous curriculum that we followed (by the same review board), the board instead chose to apply the 2019 global dissemination of results to our cohort." he wrote.
'This failed to take into account the fact that Eton is an academically selective school with a much narrower range of skills than the global spread. The scores awarded to many boys in this subject were unrelated to their CAGs or skills. As a result, some have lost their university places. & # 39;
Dr. Simon Hyde, the new general secretary of the Conference of School Directors, which represents 296 leading private schools, has urged the government to use teacher-predicted grades.
He said, “The only way to stop this unbearable burden on students and teachers is to give the teacher assessment grades, or CAGs.
“While we accept that the inevitable outcome is class inflation, we believe this is the less bad option when facing tens of thousands of students with unfair grades, thousands of schools facing an as-yet undeveloped appeal process, and most of us Need to focus energy in supporting the Prime Minister's desire to reopen our schools in a few weeks.
Dr. Hyde added, “Also, GCSE grades can be released as planned. The last thing anyone needs is more delay and confusion. & # 39;
The high school headmistress said she lost trust in Ofqual because of dealing with the A-level crisis.
Kay Mountfield, principal of Sir William Borlase's high school in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, told BBC Radio 4's Today program: “It is clear to us that our grades are significantly lower than any grades we have ever had in school history have received.
& # 39; They are 10% lower than even the lowest grades we've ever received. They have absolutely no resemblance to our historical data. So that would be something any centralized review process would have tackled right away. & # 39;
She added that schools like hers have "downgraded 85% of their student cohort".
Ms. Mountfield told BBC Radio 4's Today program: “Only 38 out of 220 students kept their grades. Eighteen have been downgraded by three grades, 74 by two grades, and they're looking for university places that just aren't there.
“Seventy of my students didn't have the first choice for a university – normally that would be around five or maybe ten students.
"But I have 70 high school students from various backgrounds who have worked very hard for their grades and are struggling to get into university."
“Each day of delay will make universities and their ability to meet all the demand for places that will inevitably find their way now, increasingly difficult.
"For them the problem is far from over."
Ofqual previously blamed the government for the chaos. A senior member claimed that "policy changes every 12 hours" led to the debacle.
Professor Tina Isaacs, who sits on Ofqual's advisory group, told BBC Breakfast: “Ofqual's job is to run government policy. And if the policy changes every 12 to 24 hours, Ofqual has to deal with it as best as possible. & # 39;
Eton's headmaster wrote a letter to parents criticizing and describing the algorithm as "unfair" – one of several private and high schools that are beating up the government.
There are also fears that the algorithm caused a “bleeding” of public confidence in the results.
Some experts have said that a return to teacher assessments – as the Scottish Government has done – may be the "least bad option", but there are concerns that such an approach could lead to implausibly high grades.
Despite the downgrades and widespread anger, the proportion of candidates in this year's results was still at the highest level ever recorded.
A total of 27.9 percent of the participants achieved either an A or an A *, compared to 25.5 percent in 2019. Nine percent of the participants received an A * – another record high of 7.8 percent in the previous year. The general success rate (grades A * to E) was 98.3 percent – another record high.
Ofqual previously revealed how some teachers had given students "totally implausible" predicted grades. If they had been used, the A-Level scores this year would have been 14 percent better than in 2019. If the predicted grades were used for GCSEs, the scores would have been nine percent higher than last year.
Prior to this, the Prime Minister's Deputy Official Spokesman insisted that Mr Johnson had retained confidence in his Secretary of Education.
The controversy over the A-Level results has resulted in the GCSE results having to be delayed.
But the Prime Minister's deputy official spokesman said at lunchtime, "We are not going to delay the GCSE results."
Some teachers feel that the algorithm should be scrapped completely, while others feel that it should be recalibrated to get fairer results, eliminating the need for mass complaints.
High school students have also criticized the algorithm.
Dr. Mark Fenton, executive director of the Grammar School Heads Association, told the BBC that "a great injustice has been committed" with "extremely confusing" results for some students.
He said the "only fair outcome" would be to use teacher-recommended grades and remove the 5 percent limit on additional study places in England.
According to the BBC, research by the Sixth Form Colleges Association found this year's A-level sixth grade grades in England are below the average for the past three years – in some cases 20 percent lower than similar historical achievement.
Andy Burnham, Labor Mayor of Greater Manchester, said this morning he intends to take legal action over the results process.
He tweeted, “So it looks like the government is digging into their deeply flawed system.
In that case, I'm going to seek legal advice this morning and hire a senior attorney. Ich gehe davon aus, dass ich heute später an Ofqual schreiben werde, um Maßnahmen einzuleiten. & # 39;
Mehrere führende Konservative haben den Druck auf die Regierung erhöht, den umstrittenen Algorithmus abzuschaffen.
Dazu gehörte der frühere Tory-Führer Sir Iain Duncan Smith, der sagte, Bedenken hinsichtlich der „Klasseninflation“ könnten ausgeräumt werden, indem akzeptiert wird, dass 2020 nicht als Benchmark für zukünftige Jahre verwendet wird, da einige der Noten von Lehrern „verkocht“ worden wären.
Die Generaldirektorin des Paymaster und des Kabinetts, Penny Mordaunt, sagte, sie suche "heute ein weiteres Treffen" mit dem Bildungsministerium, nachdem sie mit Schülern und Eltern über die Prüfungsergebnisse gesprochen habe.
Die frühere Ministerin von Tory, Tracey Crouch, schloss sich den Forderungen an, dass A-Level-Schüler in England von Lehrern bewertete Noten erhalten sollten, da der Ofqual-Algorithmus „fehlerhaft“ ist.
Der Tory-Abgeordnete für Chatham und Aylesford gab eine Erklärung in den sozialen Medien ab und sagte: „Jetzt, da klar ist, dass Ofqual der Meinung ist, dass es sich um einen fehlerhaften Algorithmus handelt, sollten wir zu den Lehrernoten zurückkehren.
„Einige denken, dass dies zu einer Überinflation führen würde – und ja, vielleicht auch -, aber nachdem ich heute Morgen mit einem Schulleiter gesprochen habe, bin ich zuversichtlich, dass die meisten Schulen Qualitätsprüfungsverfahren haben, die bedeuten würden, dass nur sehr wenige aufgeblasen würden, und wenn dies der Fall wäre Angesichts der Welt, in der wir uns gerade befinden, na und? Diese Dinge haben eine Möglichkeit, sich auf lange Sicht zu sortieren.
„Aber wenn wir die Änderungen vornehmen wollen, müssen wir dies heute tun. Die Rückkehr zu Lehrernoten wird die Krise nicht lösen – tatsächlich kann dies die Zulassung von Universitäten ins Chaos stürzen -, aber es ermöglicht A-Level-Schülern, die Noten zu bekommen, die ihre Lehrer für verdient halten, und wir können uns auf den Donnerstag konzentrieren. .. GCSE Ergebnistag.
'Weit mehr Studenten werden davon betroffen sein, wenn es in GCSEs weitergeht und (es) noch verheerendere Auswirkungen auf die Studienplätze haben könnte.
„Ich habe all diese Punkte formell angesprochen und hoffe, dass die Ministerkollegen zuhören. Wir brauchen das sortiert so schnell wie möglich. & # 39;
Caroline Nokes, Vorsitzende des Women and Equalities Select Committee, twitterte, dass die Algorithmusprobleme "ausschließlich junge Menschen betroffen haben und natürlich das Alter ein geschütztes Merkmal ist", und fügte hinzu, dass sie als Vorsitzende des Ausschusses "jede Anfrage unterstützen" wollte.
When she allowed students to get their teacher graded grades, she added, “I realize it's not perfect. You can of course back this up with a calling system that may include looking at the bogus results when they are available and when they are perceived to be robust.
& # 39; I think under these exceptional circumstances that these students are this year, the fact that their education has already been so disrupted, we have said that teacher graded grades will be the basis of the A-level scores should.
"If there is no other fair way of determining GCSE results, we need to look into that and keep that option on the table for you as well."
Students called for "Justice for State Schools" amid the ongoing battle over the zip code lottery to get a good grade
Protesters take part in a peaceful demonstration in Parliament Square in central London in response to Thursday's A-Level scores being downgraded
The final demand of today's protest was: "All universities should keep more offers and allow time to complete the appointment process."
"Give me back my grades" and "demote Williamson, not students" posters were waved as students and parents unpacked Parliament Square
London protesters modeled in Edinburgh and Cardiff (pictured) urged the government to "recognize the disproportionate nature of grades in deprived areas and their detrimental effects on society".
A protester stands with her self-made sign with a picture of the Prime Minister, branding him a "classic" and saying: "Britain deserves better"
Der Bürgermeister von Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, leitet rechtliche Schritte gegen Ofqual wegen der A-Level-Krise ein
Der Bürgermeister von Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, wird an die englische Prüfungsbehörde schreiben, um rechtliche Schritte wegen des A-Level-Ergebnisprozesses einzuleiten.
Er twitterte am Montag: „Es sieht also so aus, als würde sich die Regierung in ihr zutiefst fehlerhaftes System einarbeiten.
In diesem Fall werde ich heute Morgen Rechtsberatung in Anspruch nehmen und einen leitenden Anwalt beauftragen. Ich gehe davon aus, dass ich später heute an Ofqual schreiben werde, um Maßnahmen einzuleiten. & # 39;
Der Labour-Bürgermeister ist einer von mehreren Abgeordneten der Opposition, die den Umgang der Regierung mit der Krise kritisieren.
Labor shadow education secretary Kate Green said the situation regarding A-level results was "shameful" and urged the government to "go the extra mile" to protect the future of young people.
Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain this morning, Ms Green said universities should "be flexible to cope with the horrors these young people are going through through no fault of their own".
She added: “At the same time, we know that universities have, or certainly did, at the time the A-level results were published, also because the government has made it so much harder for international students to come to the UK .
“But you have to know, you need planning time. And of course universities can't wait forever.
“These places are filling up now and the government just needs to be absolutely clear on what basis the results are given to high school graduates, what grades they received. It has to be fair to these young people and then universities can fill in the places that still exist and students can get on with their lives. & # 39;
Ms. Green said the government "never really put young people first".
Kann Gavin Williamson seine jüngste Katastrophe im Stil von "Private Pike" überleben? Fordert den umkämpften Bildungsminister auf, aufzuhören, da er sich bei den Schülern für "Bedrängnis" nach einer großen Kehrtwende auf A-Level- und GCSE-Noten entschuldigt
Gavin Williamson entschuldigte sich heute bei den Studenten für die "Not", die durch das Debakel der Regierung auf A-Level-Ergebnis verursacht wurde, als er eine Kehrtwende ankündigte, in der er aufgefordert wurde, aufzuhören.
Zehntausende von A-Level-Schülern in England werden nun ihre Noten verbessern, nachdem der Bildungsminister eine demütigende Änderung angekündigt hat.
Die Noten basieren nun eher auf den Bewertungen der Lehrer als auf einem kontroversen Algorithmus, der von der Aufsichtsbehörde Ofqual entwickelt wurde.
Herr Williamson und Boris Johnson hatten zuvor das "robuste" Algorithmus-System verteidigt, bei dem fast 40 Prozent der Noten aufgrund der Vorhersagen der Lehrer reduziert wurden.
Aber der Bildungsminister entschuldigte sich heute Nachmittag bei Schülern und Eltern, die von dem betroffen waren, was er als "erhebliche Inkonsistenzen" mit dem Benotungsprozess bezeichnete.
In einer Erklärung sagte er: „Dies war ein außerordentlich schwieriges Jahr für junge Menschen, die ihre Prüfungen nicht ablegen konnten.
"Wir haben mit Ofqual zusammengearbeitet, um ein möglichst faires Modell zu erstellen. Es ist jedoch klar, dass der Prozess der Zuteilung von Noten zu größeren Inkonsistenzen geführt hat, als durch ein Berufungsverfahren gelöst werden können."
Er fügte hinzu: „Wir glauben jetzt, dass es besser ist, jungen Menschen und Eltern Sicherheit zu bieten, indem man zu den von Lehrern bewerteten Noten für A- und AS-Level sowie für GCSE-Ergebnisse wechselt.
'I am sorry for the distress this has caused young people and their parents but hope this announcement will now provide the certainty and reassurance they deserve.'
The A-level results fiasco is the latest in a series of Cabinet missteps for Mr Williamson.
Today's U-turn is likely to prompt further speculation over whether the minister, known by some in Westminster as Private Pike after the hapless character in the Dad's Army TV show, will be able to remain in post after MPs had already called for him to resign.
Gavin Williamson is under pressure over his handling of the A-level results chaos as opposition MPs called for him to quit
Students took part in protests in Whitehall and outside Mr Williamson's constituency offices in South Staffordshire (pictured today)
Gavin Williamson: The tarantula-owning ex-chief whip who is no stranger to controversy
Gavin Williamson first rose to political prominence in July 2016 when he was appointed as Theresa May's chief whip.
He initially hit the headlines because of his tarantula Cronus which he kept in a box on his House of Commons desk as he tried to enforce Conservative Party discipline.
But his promotion to the role of Defence Secretary in November 2017 resulted in many more headlines as he landed the senior Cabinet role much to the surprise of many in Westminster.
But the 44-year-old's inexperience and proneness to gaffs saw the newcomer quickly labelled Private Pike – after the hapless teenage Dad's Army character.
The MP for South Staffordshire – Mrs May's campaign manager in her successful 2016 leadership bid – quickly became known for a tendency to put his foot in his mouth.
At the height of the furore over the Salisbury novichok attack in March 2018, Mr Williamson infamously told Russia to 'go away and shut up' – prompting derision from critics.
In December the previous year, he was accused of pursuing a policy that 'belongs in a Netflix series' after saying Islamist fighters should be hunted down and killed.
During his time as Defence Secretary he was also at the centre of a cabinet row after he was blamed for offending the Chinese and causing the cancellation of a crucial trade visit to Beijing by Chancellor Philip Hammond.
On that occasion, the then Defence Secretary had made a speech days before the mission in which he talked about sending a Royal Navy warship to the sensitive waters of the Indo Pacific, words that did not go down well in Beijing.
Mr Williamson was sacked by Mrs May in May 2019 after he was accused of leaking information from a National Security Council relating to whether Huawei would be handed a role in building the UK's 5G network.
Mr Williamson, who is married and has two children, strenuously denied any involvement in the leak.
He returned to the backbenches and then backed Boris Johnson during the subsequent Tory leadership battle, playing a key role in the future PM's campaign team.
Mr Williamson was rewarded with a Cabinet return as Mr Johnson appointed him Education Secretary.
But the coronavirus crisis has seen Mr Williamson in hot water on a number of occasions.
He had promised primary schools would fully reopen before the summer holidays in England but had to abandon the plans after head teachers said social distancing rules made the move impossible.
Meanwhile, he was accused of botching the roll out of a free school meals voucher scheme while his Department for Education failed to hit a target for handing out laptops for disadvantaged pupils.
The results row was sparked last week after a controversial algorithm was used to calculate A-level grades.
The method meant many pupils saw their predicted grades downgraded with critics calling for the algorithm to be ditched and for results to be determined based on teacher assessments instead.
Mr Johnson, who is on holiday in Scotland, held a conference call with Mr Williamson and officials this morning in order to figure out how to assuage teacher and student anger after protests in Whitehall and in the Education Secretary's constituency.
Downing Street said at lunchtime that Mr Johnson had confidence in Mr Williamson.
Mr Johnson's deputy official spokesman said: 'Yes. The whole Government has been working hard to come up with the fairest system for pupils.'
The U-turn by Mr Williamson is just the latest example of the 44-year-old hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons.
In March 2018 when he was Defence Secretary he told Russia to 'go away and shut up' in the wake of the Salisbury spy poisoning – a comment which sparked widespread derision from Mr Williamson's critics.
He was sacked from the role in May 2019 after he was accused of leaking information from a National Security Council meeting – an accusation he strenuously denied.
Earlier today, Sir Michael Wilshaw, the former Ofsted chief, had said that ultimately responsibility for the 'terrible farce' rested with Mr Williamson.
Sir Michael told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'There has to be political responsibility. Like all things, at the end of the day somebody has to carry the can and the politicians, the political leaders have to carry the can.
'The great danger for Gavin Williamson at the moment is he is losing confidence – he is losing the confidence of head teachers around the country who have seen this happen.
'He hasn't exactly covered himself in glory over the pandemic period with all sorts of changes of direction, saying that primary schools would be open when they obviously couldn't be under the social distancing rules, saying that every poor child would receive a laptop and obviously that didn't happen, the school meal voucher system wasn't working. He is losing the dressing room, if you like.'
Today's U-turn came amid growing fury among Tory MPs about the Government's handling of the row.
Sir Robert Syms, a Tory MP, told The Times overnight: 'What's happening was avoidable. We saw what happened in Scotland, they got themselves in a hole then got themselves out. We seem to have gone headfirst in and are still digging. There is real risk of Tory MPs going on the warpath.'
Another Conservative backbencher had told the newspaper: 'The problem with Gavin is he's ineffectual. If you had someone strong they would have challenged this sooner.'
Tory former minister Stephen Hammond today called the A-level results grading system and appeals process 'a shambles'.
Speaking about the appeals process, Mr Hammond, the MP for Wimbledon, told Sky News: 'So it looks unfortunately like it's developed… gone very rapidly from some clarity into a shambles.
'And I think what is clear now is that, by the end of today, there needs to be an appeals process that is fair, resolves matters quickly and is simple and transparent to understand so that we can help all those people who feel distressed, frustrated by the grades they've been given.'
He added: 'A number of these students have been working since March very hard, not only in preparation for if exams had happened but still doing coursework, and a lot of that would be a very good indication of their true ability.
'And what the appeal process should do is take into every account these young people are not an exam board number, they are real people who deserve fairness and a chance to have their futures put in a solid position very quickly.'
The Liberal Democrats have called for Mr Williamson to quit.
'The shambolic handling of A-level results has left many young people in crisis,' Lib Dem MP Layla Moran said.
'Despite the warning signs from Scotland, the Education Secretary pushed ahead with plans which ignored teachers' advice and have disproportionately affected pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. With this unfair system, he has created untold confusion and distress.
'Gavin Williamson is an Education Secretary out of his depth and out of excuses. He must take responsibility for his mistakes and step down with immediate effect.
'Our young people and our country cannot afford these blunders to continue into September, ahead of a potential second wave.'
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