UK Politics

A-level students in England can use mock results to get into university

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A-level students in England will be able to use grades in mock exams to progress to university and college courses and employment, the education secretary is set to announce.

The change forms part of what Gavin Williamson has called a "triple lock" to give students confidence in the moderation system, which can see predicted results set by teachers downgraded based on a school's previous record.

It comes as unions called on the government to follow Scotland's lead in scrapping moderated grades after the downgrading of more than 124,000 results was reversed.

Setting out the decision to press ahead with a moderated results process, Mr Williamson said: "Every young person waiting for their results wants to know they have been treated fairly.

"By ensuring students have the safety net of their mock results, as well as the chance of sitting autumn exams, we are creating a triple lock process to ensure they can have the confidence to take the next step forward in work or education."

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Ministers are expected to pledge a further £30m to help schools provide autumn exams to those students who wish to take them.

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However, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the government must take steps to make the system fairer.

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He has called for statutory guidance to require colleges and universities to show greater flexibility in admissions and wants ministers to prevent GCSE maths and English results being downgraded below the lowest pass grade.

"Pupils and parents are rightly worried that years of hard work are about to be undone because a computer has decided to mark their child down," he said.

"The SNP have been forced into a humiliating U-turn after a shambolic few days. With 24 hours before results are released, I would urge the prime minister to change course, or he risks robbing a generation of their future."

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) also criticised the government's announcement on mock exam results, suggesting schools "might as well not have bothered" making predicted grades.

"The idea of introducing, at the eleventh hour, a system in which mock exam results trump calculated grades beggars belief," said Geoff Barton, general secretary of the ASCL.

"The government doesn't appear to understand how mock exams work.

"They aren't a set of exams which all conform to the same standards. The clue is in the name 'mock'. And some students will not have taken them by the time that schools were closed in March. So, this immediately creates the potential for massive inconsistency."

Some unions have gone further, with both the National Union of Students (NUS) and the University and College Union (UCU) calling on the governmentRead More – Source