Fresh confusion over release of GCSE grades for thousands of pupils

GCSE confusion as Government says pupils will get grades based on predicted marks on Thursday but  ‘official results’ will not be released until next week

  • DfE says pupils will get  their ‘centre assessment grades’ on Thursday
  • But department also said ‘official results will be released to students next week
  • Created confusion about what teenagers will receive and when 

There was fresh confusion today over when exactly thousands of pupils sitting GCSEs will receive their grades. 

The Department for Education last night said that schools and college students would receive their ‘centre assessment grades’ on Thursday, the day they should have received them if they had sat exams.

But at the same time, the DfE said that ‘official results will be released to students next week’.

It comes after yesterday’s humiliating U-turn over exam grades, with a ‘standardisation’ system scrapped after complaints that it unfairly penalised high achievers from poor backgrounds. 

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson then appeared to muddy the water further on BBC Breakfast this morning, when he said students would get their highest grade on Tursday and ‘certification’ next week.

However, official GCSE certificates are not usually sent out for several weeks after the grades are revealed, School Week reported. 

Gavin Williamson, pictured in Whitehall today, repeatedly refused to say whether he had offered his resignation to Boris Johnson over the A-level results debacle 

A level students celebrate outside the Department for Education in London after it was confirmed that candidates in England will be given grades estimated by their teachers, rather than by an algorithm

Mr Williamson was facing heated calls to resign today over the Engish exams fiasco.

The Education Secretary said this morning he first became fully aware of the extent of the problems with the grading system at the weekend. 

But the Education Select Committee warned last month that the proposed method of using an algorithm to calculate grades could cause ‘significant problems’ and ‘might hurt the disadvantaged’. 

MPs are now demanding to see Department for Education minutes from official meetings to see exactly when ministers became aware of potential problems. 

Mr Williamson yesterday announced a humiliating U-turn as the Government said grades will now be based on teachers’ assessments rather than the controversial algorithm developed by regulator Ofqual. 

The algorithm resulted in almost 40 per cent of grades issued being lower than teacher predictions, prompting widespread pupil and parent anger. 

Mr Williamson has insisted he intends to stay on as Education Secretary long into the future despite growing calls for him to quit over the fiasco. 

One Tory MP told the Telegraph the ‘vultures are circling’ but the Education Secretary is a ‘master of finding someone else to chuck under a bus’. 

Mr Williamson has attempted to deflect the blame for the situation onto Ofqual as he said the Government had been assured that the algorithm ‘would stand scrutiny’ and that the regulator ‘didn’t deliver’. 

Meanwhile, he also appeared to hint that the regulator’s boss, Sally Collier, could be made to carry the can for the debacle as he failed to express confidence in her performance. 

Mr Williamson has apologised for the ‘distress’ caused by the the situation as tens of thousands of pupils face an uncertain future with universities now trying to find them places on courses which could already be at capacity. 

The Education Secretary said this morning he was ‘incredibly sorry’ but repeatedly refused to say whether he had offered his resignation to Boris Johnson.

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