ENTERTAINMENT

The government's U-turn means 1.5 million teenagers could get grades that match the old A / A *


Almost every third GCSE student got top marks today after the U-Turn fiasco of the exam.

The percentage with a grade of 7 or higher – the equivalent of an old A / A * – is expected to increase by almost 30 percent due to the switch to teacher ratings.

This could mean 1.5 million grades 7, 8 and 9 will be awarded in England, with up to 1,000 students earning a clean 9-point win for the first time.

With the share of A / A * equivalents set to increase by 30 percent this year, Secretary of Education Gavin Williamson faces widespread calls to resign

The increase is due to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson abolishing the controversial algorithm system for both A-Level and GCSE scores – and teacher-predicted grades must be used to mark students who passed their exams of the pandemic.

It sparked chaos between universities when students originally said they'd missed out on college places and desperately tried to take classes.

Williamson & # 39; was told the algorithm was doomed six weeks ago but continued to be pushed & # 39;

by HENRY MARTIN for MailOnline

Gavin Williamson was warned that the exam algorithm was "doomed" and that thousands of students could get the wrong results, a Senior Department for Education source said.

According to the source, former chief executive Sir Jon Coles wrote to Mr Williamson six weeks ago to express his concerns about the Ofqual algorithm, claiming that when applied to GCSE and A-level ratings, it would be 75 percent accurate at best.

In his letter, Sir Jon also said that using predicted grades for some small groups of students while using the algorithm for large groups would lead to injustice.

It is believed that Mr Williamson was on a video call with Sir Jon in mid-July to discuss his concerns but decided to continue with the algorithm amid concerns about the delay in the inflation rate of the results, reports The Times.

However, the education secretary said he only fully knew how unfair the "over the weekend" algorithm was.

Mr Williamson is now "in his last life" after his humiliating exam fiasco and will be fired if the reopening of Boris Johnson's schools is botched, ministers said.

A similar picture is expected today in sixth grades and colleges, with thousands more meeting add-level admission requirements than previously thought.

The sixth grades are demanding additional funding from the government, with some leaders planning to hire more teachers or ask staff to teach beyond their specialist knowledge so they can meet whatever offers are on offer.

Others may increase the class size or give catch-up classes to students whose grades do not match their actual abilities.

Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Center for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said the new system will reward students and schools where teachers have "overrated".

He added, “It is difficult for those who have tried their best to predict accurately.

“Young people will feel that they are good at something when they are not, and they may find that they can and may not be able to graduate from difficult subjects like physics, French or maths getting ready. & # 39;

In July, exam attendant Ofqual revealed an early analysis of predicted GCSE grades submitted by teachers.

It was found that 31.6 percent of papers set by 16 year olds in England would get a 7 or higher (an old A or A *) if these center rating grades were used. That compared to 24.7 percent for this age group last year – an increase of 28 percent.

According to this teacher evaluation system, 7.7 percent of the work would receive a top grade of 9. And 82.4 percent would get at least a 4, which equates to a C, Ofqual said.

At the time, the watchdog said the "vast majority of centers" had "submitted optimistic marks for centers". These should have been standardized by the algorithm in order to bring them in line with previous years. However, the official results released today are expected to be broadly similar to these early Ofqual estimates.

Geoff Barton of the Association of School and College Leaders said, "Schools have understandably given some students the benefit of the doubt when they are on the boundary between two classes."

Students protested the jumble of GCSE and A-Level results that is affecting their future

Union: Revamp 2021 test papers

GCSE and A-Level exams next summer should be revised with some subjects that have been deemed "optional," a teachers' union said yesterday.

The National Education Union called for "reduced content" on test papers to help teachers manage the effects of further virus outbreaks. And it required less trust in the papers at the end of the year – because they make the students "anxious". The joint general secretaries Dr. Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney made the demands in a letter to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson. They called for a "thorough, independent review of the assessment methods for awarding GCSE and A-level qualifications in England".

Her letter goes on to say, "The current over-reliance on exams at the end of the course increases student anxiety."

John Abbott, executive director of Richard Huish College in Somerset, said it was likely that "more kids are likely to be on the wrong course in September". This is because they may have received higher grades than they would have won on exams or would have fallen behind during the lockdown.

Gill Burbridge, director of Leyton Sixth Form College in east London, said it was a challenge to appreciate the offerings it made to nearly 2,000 students. She added, "The staff may need more flexibility to teach in more than one area."

James Kewin, vice chairman of the board of directors of the Sixth Form Colleges Association, said, "We have urged the government over the past few years to establish a capital expansion fund for sixth grade providers and urgent action is needed now."

The Department of Education said, "We are continuing to focus on working with Ofqual to ensure students get their final GCSE, AS and A-Level scores this week."

Open schools or go, said Williamson

By Claire Ellicott, Political Correspondent for the Daily Mail

BTECs are now being re-evaluated

More than 500,000 BTEC students awaiting their results today have been disappointed – after a last-minute decision to re-evaluate them.

The Examination Board would like more time to correctly grade the overall exam after the Fisaco. But the colleges were only informed of the move at 4:30 p.m. yesterday – and had them made up for it.

BTEC colleges were not included in the government's original turnaround to award grades based on teacher ratings rather than being calculated by the algorithm.

Now, the review panel says Pearson wants to "apply the same principles" that are used in degrees and GCSEs. It removes the portions of his grades that were calculated by the algorithm based on historical performance data – and instead based on teachers' predictions.

Gavin Williamson has been warned that schools must reopen smoothly in September – or he must go.

Government sources have indicated that Boris Johnson will not fire the education secretary or demote him in a major reshuffle.

But senior backers have privately told the Whip Office that Mr Williamson should be fired after the exams fiasco.

It came when Mr. Johnson's leadership fell to its lowest level since he was appointed Prime Minister.

A YouGov poll for The Times found that support for the Conservatives fell four points to 40 percent, while Labor rose three points to 38 percent in one week.

Tory MPs have warned that a failure to get all students back to school next month would be the "last straw" for Williamson. A senior Tory said: "Gavin's position is completely untenable and we need a strong lead in September that he is singularly incapable of."

Mr Williamson was also forced to bow to Ofqual's pressure and back for the first time after he was accused of playing a guilt game.

He admitted that it was the regulator's decision to abandon the grades set by an algorithm and move on to teacher reviews. The Ministry of Education said, “The decision (Ofqual) to switch from moderated grades to centered grades was one that we agreed to. Our focus remains on working with Ofqual to ensure that students receive their final GCSE, AS and A-Level scores this week so they can move on to the next phase of their lives. & # 39;

The approval will raise further questions about whether Mr. Williamson was unaware of the extent of the problem or how the controversial algorithm would even work by the weekend.

Tory MPs have told the Whip Office that Mr Williamson should now leave his post.

Boris Johnson intervened from Scotland to help resolve the earnings crisis. He is pictured above in an M&S store in Westfield, London

Boris Johnson intervened from Scotland to help resolve the earnings crisis. He is pictured above in an M&S store in Westfield, London

Defense Committee chairman Tobias Ellwood said the government should "reconfigure" its top team and leverage "full talent." And a former minister said, “There is real anger now about how someone like Gavin got (the job) in the first place.

There are questions of verdict as to why Theresa May and then Boris Johnson promoted him. Someone with more competence in the same job could have avoided all of this. & # 39;

Durham: postpone a year and get a & # 39; cash reward & # 39;

By Josh White, education reporter for the Daily Mail

OFQUAL & # 39; knew the algorithm was doomed & # 39;

Watchdog Ofqual knew its algorithm was "doomed" as early as June, but pushed ahead anyway, it was claimed last night.

A consultant who helped develop the software said there was "always an understanding that there will be winners and losers".

Ofqual has always said his system is as "fair as possible" – despite the fact that so many student grades have been downgraded. However, on condition of anonymity, the consultant said it was obvious that the algorithm would fail between June 1 and June 12, once schools submit their teacher-assessed grades.

"There was a very specific point where it was doomed," he said. “There was clearly always some potential that this, by its very nature, could explode. It wasn't even necessary to discuss this point because it was always in the background. & # 39;

Ofqual didn't respond to a request for comment last night.

Durham became the first university last night to offer cash rewards to students if they agreed to wait a year before enrolling.

The university announced this after it was found that 15,000 students can now switch back to their first choice institution.

Durham's offer will upset some struggling universities that last night were alleged to suffer "financially crippling" losses if students make their first choice.

It is feared that an increased number of students waiting a year to get to their university of choice, rather than downgrading to a less respected alternative that year, could create a financial black hole for certain less popular institutions.

Durham University said "this unprecedented situation" has created "various capacity issues in terms of both tuition and accommodation" and warned "it is possible that some offer holders … may have to postpone entry until 2021, to be able to enroll ".

It told prospective students, “Students who choose to postpone until 2021 will be guaranteed college housing in 2021 and a scholarship will be provided by Durham University to help them transition into university life. More details will follow soon. & # 39;

Last night, Ucas said that students who were originally rejected by their first choice university could now claim a spot with their updated grades.

The Russell group of elite universities will likely take the brunt of these additional student numbers and put pressure on staff to take in as many students as possible.

Last night, Dr. Tim Bradshaw, CEO of the group that includes Oxford and Cambridge, "This is a stressful time for students and our admissions teams".

"We urge the government to provide guidance and support to help the sector cope with the immediate and long-term effects of an unprecedented surge in numbers," he said.

& # 39; Many of our members are accepting more students this year and have committed to complying with the offers on offer. Due to the limitations on capacity, teaching and support resources, and the need to ensure universities operate in a Covid-safe manner, some locations may need to be moved. & # 39;

Durham University has announced that it will be offering a scholarship to students who postpone their entry for a year

Durham University has announced that it will provide scholarships to students who postpone their entry for a year

Last night, the Financial Times reported that the government was preparing to announce it would lift the cap on the number of medical students. They said additional money would also be poured into the sector to train them, due to the increased numbers now eligible for study after their grades were raised.

Dr. Helena McKeown of the British Medical Association said: “The UK is very short of doctors. Therefore, it makes sense to increase the number of doctors in training. However, this needs to continue with support and funding for both the university sector and the NHS. & # 39;

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said: "We are working closely with the higher education sector to understand the challenges faced by universities and to provide as much support as possible."

The dream of studying medicine hangs by a thread

Sosan Mirafgan's dream of studying medicine is still pending

Sosan Mirafgan's dream of studying medicine is still pending

For Sosan Mirafgan, the dream of studying medicine still hangs in the balance.

The soaring sixth grade college student, 18, lost her place at Newcastle University after the evaluation fiasco.

Her teacher-predicted Bs grades in biology and chemistry were downgraded to Cs, but she kept her A in math. She contacted the university after the exams reversed to see if it is now accepted. But they said it was waiting for advice from the Medical Schools Council.

The industry association said that students wishing to study medicine and dentistry are in "a uniquely difficult situation" as these courses have "severely limited access" and are mostly full. Sosan, who wants to become a brain surgeon, said, “The university said they might have to give us a place for the next year. I'm still waiting, nervous about what's going to happen. & # 39;

Sosan didn't speak English when she arrived from Afghanistan as an asylum seeker in 2012. Even so, she achieved eight GCSEs between the ages of 5 and 8 at the Thornaby Academy in Stockton-on-Tees.

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