A-level ‘fiasco’: U-turn ‘too late’ for care-experienced teens to secure university places

Education secretary Gavin Williamson announced yesterday (17 August) that teacher-predicted grades would be accepted over those generated by a statistical algorithm used by exams regulator Ofqual. The U-turn came after it emerged that the algorithm had led to 39 per cent of English A-level pupils being downgraded from predictions made by their schools. Both Williamson and Ofqual have apologised to students over “significant inconsistencies” and said A-level and GCSE students will now be able to use either grades predicted by their teachers or generated by the algorithm depending on which is higher.

However, in joint letter to Williamson, care leavers charity Become and the National Association of Virtual Schools Heads (NAVSH) have warned the backtrack may have come “too late” for hundreds of care-experienced teenagers to secure a university place for the upcoming academic year. Many universities are reporting significant challenges in honouring teacher assessed A-level grades, with many courses and university accomodation already full. Read more.