Schools Minister says students won't be charged to sit exams after A-levels fiasco

13 August 2020, 20:36

Schools Minister Nick Gibb tells Iain Dale pupils won't need to pay to sit exams

Schools Minister Nick Gibb has told LBC students who are disappointed with their A-level results won't be charged to sit their exams.

Thousands of students were left gutted on Thursday after their A-levels were downgraded by a government algorithm, which had been set up to determine grades after exams were cancelled due to Covid-19.

Students who are unhappy with their results will be able to appeal them, and if they are not happy with the results of that then the option will be there for them to sit the exams in the Autumn.

Usually exam resits come with fees attached, but Mr Gibb told Iain Dale they will not be made to pay under these circumstances.

When asked if fees would be waived, he said: "We are doing that.

"There won't be any fee for any student who takes an exam in the Autumn, so they can be assured about that."

Despite the government initially saying pupil's mock exams would count towards their final grade, a school's historical performance has been applied, dragging down thousands of other grades.

Listen to the rest of the interview below

Schools Minister Nick Gibb tells Iain Dale pupils won't need to pay to sit exams

But the despite the upset, the government has stuck firm to their decision, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling the system "robust and dependable."

However his remarks came after the process was roundly criticised by people including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer who said that the results were an example of a "deep injustice".

Sir Keir said the algorithm to determine student's grades this year has failed and has led to students unfairly losing out on opportunities.

Speaking at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington, he said: "It's the system that has downgraded and has robbed them of a chance to do something - go on to university, go on to college, go on to the job they wanted to do."

The process was also roundly criticised by students, many of whom complained they had received grades far lower than what they had been expecting.

One student, Aaron from Croydon, was predicted an A* and two As for his A-levels, but when the results came today, he ended up with BCC - a drop of six grades