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

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

Iain Duncan Smith tells government to "put A-levels right"

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."

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Nick Ferrari pressed Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson regarding trans women and bathrooms.

'So which lavatory would they actually use?': Nick Ferrari presses shadow minister on trans women and public toilets

Postal minister Kevin Hollinrake has said a future Tory government could intervene in the deal for Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky to take over the Royal Mail.

'Not a done deal': Minister says Royal Mail sale to foreign owner may not take place

Home Secretary James Cleverly (left) and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper take part in a live immigration debate on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast at Global Studios in Leicester Square, London. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2024.

James Cleverly debates Yvette Cooper on immigration | Watch Again

Yvette Cooper slammed Just Stop Oil as 'pathetic'

Yvette Cooper slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil as she brands Stonehenge stunt a 'total disgrace'

Laura Saunders, the Conservative candidate for Bristol North West

Tory candidate being investigated over alleged election date bet is 'married to Conservative Director of Campaigns'

Gambling probes into two Tory candidates are a 'betrayal of trust' in Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove has said.

Gove says election bets are ‘betrayal of Prime Minister’s trust’ as second Tory candidate investigated by regulator

Keir Starmer came out on top after LBC’s two exclusive phone-ins

Keir Starmer comes out on top after LBC phone-ins – as Rishi Sunak seen as ‘overwhelmingly negative’

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer during LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

'We would seek a better agreement' Keir Starmer tells LBC where he thinks "botched" Brexit deal can be improved

Sir Keir Starmer speaks to LBC

‘No magic wand’ to recruit more teachers as Starmer insists removing ‘tax breaks’ for private schools is ‘tough choice’

Tom Weatherall is still searching for his treasured medals which went missing in France

Renewed plea for missing medals lost in France as RAF veteran gifted with set of replicas

'Economically Brexit's working': Nigel Farage says but claims it has 'not been properly implimented'

'Economically Brexit's working': Nigel Farage says but claims it has 'not been properly implemented'

Nigel Farage says Germans should 'get a sense of humour' amid calls for football fans who chant 'Ten German Bombers' to be prosecuted

Nigel Farage says Germans need to 'get a sense of humour' if football fans sing Ten German Bombers chant

Nigel Farage in the LBC studio today and (right) on the Reform UK campaign bus in Barnsley, South Yorkshire this week

'This is how ordinary people speak': Farage defends Reform UK candidates after anti-Islam and far-right comments exposed

Tory Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride was put on the spot by an LBC listener from a "Blue Wall" constituency rained down a barrage of complaints about soaring mortgages, the NHS crisis, crumbling schools and roads, and dentist shortages.

'Why would anyone sane vote for the Tories?': Minister put on the spot with barrage of complaints from LBC listener

Mr Weatherall's lost medals

Nick Ferrari offers £500 reward for return of RAF veteran's medals lost yesterday in Ranville, France

Kemi Badenoch rules out serving alongside Nigel Farage after he hints at Tory takeover.

Nigel Farage 'wants to destroy the Conservative Party', Kemi Badenoch tells LBC