DfE unable to explain GCSE results day confusion - as Williamson contradicts his own guidance

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has said GCSE pupils will get their actual grade on Thursday – seemingly contradicting earlier government guidance saying this would be delayed until next week.

A Department for Education press release published last night said pupils would get their centre assessed grades on Thursday, but won’t get “official results” until next week.

It’s unclear what “official results” meant – and the DfE press office said this morning it was unable to provide any clarity on the situation.

But as pupils will be awarded the higher grade from their CAG or calculated result – it means not knowing the latter until next week will leave some in limbo again.

There’s also no details yet on when A-level pupils will receive their CAG grades. Exam boards were unable to provide an update on either situation this morning when asked by Schools Week. However a statement is expected later today.

But to confuse matters further, Williamson told BBC Breakfast today that youngsters on Thursday will be told their highest grade, be it the centre assessed grade or the standardised result.

He then said that “certification” will follow the week later. This has left school leaders scratching their heads somewhat – as official certificates are not normally issued until weeks after.

It follows a chaotic few days that resulted in a major U-turn by the government to award pupils their teacher grades.

Any further delay in issuing grades for GCSE pupils would have a knock-on impact on schools and colleges who would normally start their enrolment process after results are issued.