Iain Duncan Smith tells government to "put things right" over A-level shambles

17 August 2020, 09:16 | Updated: 17 August 2020, 10:30

By Adrian Sherling

Iain Duncan Smith told LBC that the government need to U-turn on A-levels and tell pupils they can use their mocks or teacher assessments for their grades.

It was announced this morning that the algorithm used to calculate GCSE results is being scrapped in Northern Ireland with teachers' predictions used instead.

The major policy shift comes before the results are published on Thursday and follows anger over the downgrading of A-Level results.

The pressure is increasing on Education Secretary Gavin Williamson over the results, in which 40% of pupils saw their results reduced thanks to the Ofqual algorithm. And Mr Duncan Smith told LBC that the government need to put it right.

Iain Duncan Smith told the government to make the A-level results right
Iain Duncan Smith told the government to make the A-level results right. Picture: LBC / PA

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, he said: "We should have started by saying that 2020 is a write-off. In other words, everything about 2020 is not going to ever be used as a benchmark.

"If the problem is grade inflation, which I must say is overcooked, then they should say forget it, just don't use 2020 as a benchmark ever again. You go 2019 to 2021 and you say 2020 is an exception.

"And that would have allowed us to say schools can use either their mocks or their assessments.

"We should have accepted that some of the marks would have been overcooked and we'd just have to work that in the system. But this year, it's imperfect because we didn't have exams.

"The idea that we'd have an algorithm to figure out what they might have done in an exam is really impossible and that's where the big mistakes were made.

"I'd like the government now to say forget it, we'll go with the assessments.

"We do not want this to happen with the GCSEs as well."

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