Pupils receive GCSE results as BTec grades are pulled

20 August 2020, 08:44 | Updated: 20 August 2020, 08:46

Pupil are set to open GCSE results today amid much concern over how results have been graded
Pupil are set to open GCSE results today amid much concern over how results have been graded. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Hundreds of thousands of students are set to receive their GCSE results later just days after a U-turn on grading - but Btec pupils will have to wait for their grades amid last-minute changes.

Pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will open their results envelope on Thursday with the final results, the higher of either their teachers' estimated grade or the moderated grade, after exams were cancelled due to coronavirus.

The changes to the way secondary school exams are marked comes after the Government reversed a previous decision and said that GCSE and A-level students would be able to receive grades based on assessments by schools or colleges, rather than an algorithm, after thousands of A-level results were downgraded last week.

As we reported last night, BTEC grades were not part of the initial U-turn, but on Wednesday - with just hours to go until results day - Pearson said it would regrade Btecs to "address concerns about unfairness".

'Have you offered to quit?': Nick Ferrari lays into schools minister

The exam board told schools and colleges not to publish level 1 and 2 results in the vocational qualifications on Thursday to give them more time to recalculate the grades.

It is still unclear what the appeals process will be for GCSE and A-level students who are unhappy with their results following the U-turn.

But England's exams regulator previously said individual pupils would not be allowed to challenge teacher-assessed grades.

Headmaster explains horrendous downgrading in BTec results by Pearson

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), is expecting staff to have "challenging" conversations with GCSE students unhappy with results.

He said one sixth form college was threatened with a solicitor and had to deal with "abusive" parents" after "all hell broke loose" over the colleges' estimated grades for A-levels last week.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Mr Barton said: "That will be repeated tomorrow I guess.

"I think people are expecting difficult conversations.

"It will be around a misunderstanding of 'This is an individual teacher.

"'She didn't like me. She has therefore marked me down.'"

Overall, this year more students are expected to receive higher GCSE grades than in previous years, Mr Barton said.

He added: "This is because schools may, understandably, have given some students the benefit of the doubt when they are on the borderline between two grades and they had the capability to achieve the higher grade."

Students celebrate U-turn on A-level grade system

Colleges are urgently calling for more funding from the Government to cope with a likely surge of pupils who will be able to meet entry requirements for sixth form colleges amid the U-turn.

Some colleges are already at maximum capacity and there is a limit to the number of pupils they can admit amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA) said.

James Kewin, deputy chief executive of the SFCA, told PA: "In many respects, the immediate challenges faced by sixth form colleges mirror those faced by universities, increased demand for places combined with pressure on space because of Covid restrictions."

Last year, one in five entries (20.7 per cent) in England picked up at least a 7 or an A grade, and around two thirds (67.1 per centr) of entries in England were awarded at least grade 4, or C.

An analysis from the FFT Education Datalab research unit has suggested that disadvantaged pupils could benefit this year as the attainment gap could narrow amid the U-turn.

Lower-attaining schools appear to have submitted the most generous grades in their teacher assessment, the researchers said.

It added: "It's possible that we'll see less of a discrepancy between the improvement in results recorded by independent schools, and by state schools."

Traditional A*-G grades have been scrapped and replaced with a 9-1 system amid reforms, with 9 the highest result. A 4 is broadly equivalent to a C grade, and a 7 broadly equivalent to an A.

Students receiving GCSE results this summer will get numerical grades for all their subjects as all courses have now moved over to the new grading system.

Nick Gibb says his conversations with Boris Johnson have been "very good"

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "I know how difficult this year has been for students due to the coronavirus outbreak, having to be out of the classroom and away from their friends."

He added: "Students can now look forward to exciting opportunities, this year they have a choice of studying our pioneering T levels, or they can do A-levels, take up an apprenticeship, or choose from a range of other vocational qualifications."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The 'crazy' welfare system needs reform, former Labour health secretary warns the Government

‘Crazy’ welfare system needs reform, Labour adviser warns Government, as he says ‘force long-term sick into work’

14 passengers made it onto a life raft

At least six dead and seven missing after fishing boat sinks 200 miles off Falkland Islands

Charlotte Dujardin, Britain's joint-most decorated female Olympian, has pulled out of Paris 2024

Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin ‘whipped horse 24 times like an elephant in the circus’, claims lawyer

Roberta Taylor was diagnosed with pneumonia after a fall two months ago

EastEnders and The Bill star Roberta Taylor dies aged 76 from infection caused by fall

Kamala Harris raises her arms against a backdrop of US flags

Kamala Harris kicks off campaign for US president with rally in Wisconsin

A line of traffic against a red background

Wildfires send thousands fleeing from Canadian Rockies’ national park

Former Home Secretary James Cleverly has announced he will stand in the Conservative Party leadership contest.

Former Home Secretary James Cleverly announces Tory leadership bid

Kamala Harris

‘A fight for the future’: Kamala Harris vows to take on Donald Trump’s ‘extremist’ agenda in first campaign rally speech

Police help a man out of a police vehicle

Man faces murder charges after mass shooting in Croatia nursing home

Labour has seen off a potential rebellion on the two-child benefit cap

Keir Starmer suspends seven rebel Labour MPs who voted to get rid of two-child benefit cap

Spain and Manchester City star Rodri has been charged by UEFA after he chanted about Gibraltar during a Euro 2024 victory event.

Manchester City star Rodri charged by UEFA over Gibraltar chants during EURO 2024 celebrations

President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Delaware

Joe Biden seen for first time since quitting presidential race as Democrats rally behind Kamala Harris

Robert Hammond, 47, faced a "surging mountain of debt and financial pressures"

Mortgage broker who murdered his wife to cash in on her life insurance and pay off £300,000 debt jailed for 24 years

Exclusive
Michael Marmot said the cap was 'almost a form of eugenics'

Two-child benefit cap amounts to eugenics, public health expert claims ahead of MPs' vote

nna Holland and Phoebe Plummer are accused of throwing two cans of soup at the legendary painting

Tomato soup acted 'like paint stripper' in Just Stop Oil Van Gogh protest, court hears

Crowd of people on a hillside

Death toll in Ethiopia mudslides rises to 229 as search operations continue