Exams 2020: 40% of A-level grades ‘adjusted’, minister reveals

Forty per cent of A-level grades provided by schools have been “adjusted” during the standardisation process, Nick Gibb has revealed.

The schools minister told the Today programme this morning that “the majority of students tomorrow will get the grade submitted by the teacher, and of those 40 per cent of grades that are adjusted, it’ll be just by one grade”.

Exams were cancelled this year and replaced with a system of centre assessment grades, which were then standardised by exam boards.

Ofqual, the exams regulator, has previously revealed that grades provided by schools had had to be hauled down by 12 percentage points to avoid grade inflation.

This morning, Gibb sought to reassure pupils that despite the adjustment, “top grades will still be 1 or 2 per cent higher than previous years”.

“We want to try to get the array of grades as similar this year as last year and this standardisation process is delivering that so that people know the qualification they get maintains its value with employers and universities.”

It comes after the Scottish government withdrew all grades that had been downgraded during standardisation under a similar system to that used in England. The number of grades withdrawn represented around a quarter of all grades issued.

Ministers in England last night sought to preempt similar problems south of the border tomorrow, by announcing that schools will be able to use the appeals process to request that “valid mock grades” be used by some pupils instead of standardised centre assessment grades.

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