Hundreds of thousands of students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are receiving their GCSE results on Thursday morning.
Teenagers across those countries will be awarded their final results, the higher of either their teachers’ estimated grade or the moderated grade, after exams were cancelled.
It follows a government U-turn, with the announcement that GCSE and A-level students would be able to receive grades based on assessments by schools or colleges, rather than an algorithm, after thousands of A-level results were downgraded last week.
Meanwhile, Btec pupils will have to wait for their grades amid last-minute changes.
Btec grades were not included in the original government U-turn, but on Wednesday – with just hours to go until results day – Pearson said it would regrade Btecs to “address concerns about unfairness”.
The exam board told schools and colleges not to publish level 1 and 2 results in the vocational qualifications on Thursday to give them more time to recalculate the grades.
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Protesters call for Education Secretary to resign over exams furore
Protesters are set to call for Gavin Williamson to resign amid ongoing exams chaos and have called for “justice for BTec students” as hundreds of thousands are still waiting for results.
Zoe Tidman reports that fresh protests are planned for Friday, outside Downing Street in London and at St George’s Hall in Liverpool.
Kate Ng20 August 2020 14:35
Everything you need to know about appealing your GCSE grades
GCSE student Qais Hussain breaks down the appeal process for pupils who did not get the results they wanted today.
Kate Ng20 August 2020 14:20
Help colleges help BTEC students still waiting for results, union says
The government should commit to increasing funding and capacity in colleges to ensure students still waiting on BTEC results don’t miss out, the University and Colleges Union (UCU) has said.
Jo Grady, general secretary of the UCU, said: “Students have worked incredibly hard in difficult conditions this year. But due to Government chaos, BTEC students will have woken up this morning expecting to receive their results only to be told that a private company has pulled them.
“The Government now needs to fix this mess so students can plan for the future. We need to stop turning education into a marketplace, end the absurdity of private providers assessing results, and put students first.
“If we see a similar increase in Btec pass rates as we have seen in GCSEs then many more students will be able to go to college. The Government now needs to commit to increasing funding and capacity so that no student is left behind and so colleges can safely welcome students in the middle of a pandemic.”
Kate Ng20 August 2020 14:00
Factbox: Summary of GCSE results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Here is a summary of the overall GCSE results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
All figures are provisional and were published separately by regulators Ofqual, Qualifications Wales and the Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment.
Proportion of entries awarded:
– 9: 6.3 per cent (up from 4.5 per cent in 2019)
– 8 or above: 14.4 per cent (up from 11.2 per cent)
– 7 or above (equivalent to A or above): 25.9 per cent (up from 20.6 per cent)
– 6 or above: 40.8 per cent (up from 34 per cent)
– 5 or above: 58.2 per cent (up from 50.6 per cent)
– 4 or above (equivalent to C or above): 76.0 per cent (up from 67.0 per cent)
– 3 or above: 90.1 per cent (up from 84.3 per cent)
– 2 or above: 96.9 per cent (up from 93.8 per cent)
– 1 or above: (equivalent to G or above) 99.6 per cent (up from 98.3 per cent)
Proportion of entries awarded:
– A or above/7 or above: 25.9 per cent (up from 18.4 per cent in 2019)
– C or above/4 or above: 74.5 per cent (up from 62.8 per cent)
– G or above/1 or above: 99.6 per cent (up from 97.2 per cent)
Proportion of entries awarded:
– A*: 12.4 per cent (up from 8.3 per cent in 2019)
– A or above: 37.1 per cent (up from 31.6 per cent)
– B or above: 60.5 per cent (up from 51.5 per cent)
– C or above: 74.2 per cent (up from 67.7 per cent)
– C* or above: 89.4 per cent (up from 81.9 per cent)
– D or above: 95.3 per cent (up from 91.1 per cent)
– E or above: 98.1 per cent (Up from 95.3 per cent)
– F or above: 99.2 per cent (up from 97.5 per cent)
– G or above: 99.7 per cent (up from 98.7 per cent)
Kate Ng20 August 2020 13:40
Quarter of GCSE students upset at missing exams this year due to coronavirus
Pupils receive their GCSE results at Copley Academy in Stalybridge, England (Getty)
25 per cent of GCSE students are upset they missed their exams because of the coronavirus pandemic, which could have impacted their final grade, a survey has found.
The survey of over 6,500 students also found that 39 per cent of GCSE students are worried the coronavirus pandemic will have an impact on their next academic year.
Conducted by digital learning platform Quizlet, the survey also found that 66 per cent of students felt upset that traditional graduation ceremonies will not take place this year as the virus continues to infect people.
Rahim Hirji, UK manager of Quizlet, said: “For the first few months of lockdown, many students were under the impression that they would indeed be taking exams this year and our data showed lots revising through study sets in preparation.
“Although the decision to cancel exams was deemed necessary – these extraordinary circumstances have understandably left a lot of students feeling bereft.
“For every student today rewarded for their assiduity, there is one who feels understandably let down.
“The revision period is key for students across the country, yet this was stripped from them this year due to exam cancellation. Quizlet saw a 200-400 per cent growth in new sign-ups when school closures happened in Spring, but industrious students weren’t able to apply this learning that would have been so key for their results.”
Kate Ng20 August 2020 13:20
BTEC students face ‘anxious wait’ due to government ‘incompetence’, says Labour MP
The mayor of Sheffield and Labour MP Dan Jarvis has criticised the government for the last-minute delay in BTEC results.
Students were told hours before results were meant to be published that BTEC results would be re-graded to address “unfairness”, with exam board Pearson apologising for the eleventh hour change.
Mr Jarvis said: “Concerningly, nearly half a million students still face uncertainty because of delays to BTEC results.
“All students deserve to be treated equally and receive results that reflect their hard work. Instead they are facing an anxious wait as a result of the Department for Education incompetence.”
Kate Ng20 August 2020 13:00
Government lifts cap on medical students places
The limit on the number of medical student places this year has been scrapped as ministers grapple with the continuing crisis over A-level results.
Similar caps on teaching, dentistry and veterinary courses will also be dropped and universities will receive additional funding to teach expensive subjects, reports Whitehall Editor Kate Devlin.
Read the full story below:
Kate Ng20 August 2020 12:45
Former Schools Minister accuses Nick Gibbs of not “doing his job”
Andrew Adonis, a Labour MP and former Schools Minister, has criticised the current Schools Minister over the results controversy.
In a tweet, he said: “Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister, says today that he didn’t know about the algorithm until last Thursday, results day.
“In which case he wasn’t doing his job, to put it mildly.”
Kate Ng20 August 2020 12:30
Free pizza on Gordon Ramsay for GCSE students
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is offering free pizza to students collecting their GCSE results today.
In a tweet, Mr Ramsay told students to go to his restaurant, Street Pizza, in London to get “pizza on us”.
Kate Ng20 August 2020 12:15
Exam results fiasco on par with post-Second World War education system, says headmaster
One headmaster has compared the situation surrounding exam results this year to that of the post-Second World War education system.
Gavin Horgan, headmaster of Millfield School in Somerset, told the PA news agency that whilst students gaining “the best grades possible in the circumstances” was a positive thing, there are “bigger hurdles ahead”.
“They absolutely deserve that, and they never deserved the shameful approach that was taken to get to this point by the Government and exam boards,” he said.
“However, bigger hurdles are ahead. The results received by students and the hiatus in education for many across the country, means that we will have legacy issues which will, in all likelihood, last a generation.
“The pressure on the university system, the threat to post-92 universities, which are a vital element of our further education tapestry, and the knock-on implications of grade inflation for Year 11 students going into A-level studies this year and for those same students next year when they look to apply to university, cannot simply be written off in the same way that results have been this year.
“Sadly, we are just at the very start of the problem,” he added.
Kate Ng20 August 2020 12:00