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Huge pressure on Gavin Williamson to ditch A-Level and GSCE algorithm after Wales follows Northern Ireland in using teacher assessments

There is growing pressure on Gavin Williamson to ditch the moderated grades altogether (PA)

2 min read

Pressure is mounting on Gavin Williamson to ditch the controversial grade algorithm used for this summer’s A-Level and GCSEs after Wales announced they will use teacher assessments to calculate their results.

The Education Secretary had promised there would be no U-turns despite the moderation system his department implemented causing thousands of students to have their predicted outcomes downgraded last week, with many missing out on university places as a result.

But after a growing rebellion by senior Conservative MPs a statement is expected by Mr Williamson and the exam regulator Ofqual on Monday afternoon about the fiasco.

Just hours before that, the Welsh government has revealed they will be solely relying on Centre Assessment Grades for this week’s GCSE results, as well as updating A-Level, Skills Challenge Certificate and Welsh Baccalaureate grades too.

Education minister Kirsty Williams said: “Given decisions elsewhere, the balance of fairness now lies with awarding Centre Assessment grades to students, despite the strengths of the system in Wales.

“I am taking this decision now ahead of results being released this week, so that there is time for the necessary work to take place.

“For grades issued last week, I have decided that all awards in Wales, will also be made on the basis of teacher assessment.

“For those young people, for whom our system produced higher grades than those predicted by teachers, the higher grades will stand.

Earlier the Northern Irish education minister Peter Weir said standardisation methods will not apply to GCSEs, saying “all candidates will now be awarded the grades submitted by their centre”.

It follows the decision by Nicola Sturgeon to ditch the moderated grades awarded to pupils in Scotland too, leaving England the only part of the United Kingdom still using them.

In response to the decision by the administration in Cardiff, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green said: ”Boris Johnson must now follow the lead of the Welsh Government which has acted to ensure young people in Wales get the qualifications they deserve.

 “The PM must get a grip on the situation in England now, and end the historic injustice that he is imposing on young people across the country.”

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