The Labour says the manner in which the changes to the assessment of A-level and GCSE results has been announced is “shambolic”.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has hit out at the “complete fiasco” of the 11th-hour changes to the way A-level and GCSE results in England will be assessed, saying it “smacks of incompetence”.
The government has announced that students will be able to use their mock exam results to appeal if they are unhappy with their grades, as well as being able to sit exams in the autumn.
This summer’s exams were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, with teachers required to submit the grades they thought each student would have achieved had they taken them.
These grades have been moderated by exam boards to make sure this year’s results for students are not significantly higher than in previous years.
“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,” Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said.
Sir Keir echoed this disquiet, labelling the decision “shambolic”.
“This is complete fiasco. It was obvious that this was going to be difficult but it’s been weeks or months in the coming,” the Labour leader said during a visit to Wakefield College in West Yorkshire.
“It’s hours to go before the results,” he pointed out.
“We now face possibly 40% of young people having their grades changed and downgraded, possibly.
“And this risks robbing them of their future.
“There has to be a basis for individual young people to be able to appeal against the grading.”
Sir Keir added that the idea of using mock results was “deeply flawed”.
“Talking to teachers today, it’s obvious that they expect, across the piece, that young people will do better in the real exam than they’d done in the mock,” he continued.