School leavers in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland will receive calculated grades after the coronavirus pandemic prevented them from sitting their end-of-year tests.
Grades in England are being awarded using teacher estimates which have been moderated by exam boards and the regulator Ofqual using a computer algorithm.
Ofqual has already announced a two percent rise in A* and A Grades this year – bringing top marks to near-record levels.
However, there has been “deep frustration” in schools after last-minute changes to the resulting system, according to headteachers’ union.
The Government announced late on Tuesday that students in England will have the “safety net” of being able to use mock exam results as the basis for an appeal if they are higher than the calculated grade.
The announcement came hours after Scotland’s Education Secretary announced that moderated calculated grades would be scrapped following an outcry after more than 124,000 results were downgraded.
School and university leaders have demanded clarity from ministers on how the appeals process in England will work and whether it will be completed in time for universities opening in the autumn.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said teachers are likely to face questions from “disgruntled” students over appeals on Thursday which they will struggle to answer due to the last-minute announcement and lack of detail about how the process will work.
The Ucas deadline for applicants to meet their academic offer conditions is September 7, which leaves exam boards less than four weeks to issue outcomes of appeals from schools and colleges. Read more