Never mind

That’s a bit of good news for a change – or just the undoing of a bit of bad news, as so often, but we take what we can get. They’ve said “Sorry, we’ll reverse the whole thing, sorry” about the exams-evaluations-algorithm mess. I was reading a lot of desperately sad tweets yesterday by parents of kids at state schools who’d earned a place reading engineering at Cambridge and then had it snatched away by the algorithm.

Gavin Williamson and Ofqual have apologised to students and their parents, as they announced that all A-level and GCSE results in England will be based on teacher-assessed grades.

In a spectacular U-turn, the education secretary announced the government would scrap the controversial standardisation model drawn up by the exams regulator to award grades in lieu of exams.

Instead, both A-levels and GCSE results will revert to centre-assessed grades, which were submitted by schools earlier this summer.

There are winners and losers either way, but since the losers were heavily weighted toward students in state schools as opposed to posh schools, it seemed doubly or triply cruel.

The climbdown comes after days of turmoil triggered by the publication of A-level results last Thursday, when almost 40% of predicted results were downgraded, with some students marked down two or even three grades, which resulted in many losing university places.

Hundreds of pupils took to the streets of London, demonstrating outside the Department for Education to express their anger, while others took to the airwaves and social media to describe their sense of devastation. Lawyers had began to consider taking action on behalf of affected teenagers.

Ofqual argued that the algorithm was essential to ensure results were standardised across the country and in line with previous years, but hundreds of individual stories documenting disappointment and an overwhelming sense of injustice among those affected proved too much to ignore.

However hard they tried.

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