Dramatic exams U-turn with grades now based on teacher assessments – BBC News

In an extraordinary and humiliating change of policy, the UK government has announced that the exam results of hundreds of thousands of pupils will now be based on their teacher assessments — rather than grades generated by computer modelling.

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who had claimed the results would be “robust and fair” apologised to students, parents and teachers for the for the distress caused by weeks of confusion.

The policy reversal applies to pupils sitting A Levels and GCSEs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The chairman of the exams regulator Ofqual acknowledged what he called “the real anguish” that had been caused and the damage to public confidence as a result of the fiasco.

When the original A-level results were announced it emerged that around 40% had been downgraded from teacher’s assessments across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, leading to an outcry from pupils, many of whom had who lost out on university places.

Teacher assessments will now be used to allocate grades, except in a small number of cases where the computer-awarded grade was higher.

It was also announced that universities could lift their usual caps on place numbers to ensure that students were admitted.

However there are big questions over how universities will cope with the changes, with many more students now able to claim places. Already, some institutions are saying they don’t have the capacity.

Reeta Chakrabarti presents BBC News at Ten reporting from education editor Branwen Jeffreys, political correspondent Vicki Young and education correspondent Elaine Dunkley.

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In This Story: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is variously described as a country, province, or region, which is part of the United Kingdom. Located in the northeast of the island of Ireland, Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland.

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