UK Markets close in 47 mins
  • FTSE 100

    7,565.32
    +95.54 (+1.28%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    21,868.19
    -4.89 (-0.02%)
     
  • AIM

    1,087.31
    -9.98 (-0.91%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.2003
    +0.0032 (+0.27%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3369
    -0.0094 (-0.6978%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    27,450.44
    -1,125.75 (-3.94%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    840.76
    +21.25 (+2.59%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,386.18
    +36.25 (+0.83%)
     
  • DOW

    34,504.06
    +335.97 (+0.98%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    86.56
    -0.79 (-0.90%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,798.30
    -31.40 (-1.72%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    26,170.30
    -841.00 (-3.11%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    23,807.00
    -482.90 (-1.99%)
     
  • DAX

    15,507.20
    +47.81 (+0.31%)
     
  • CAC 40

    7,016.38
    +34.42 (+0.49%)
     

‘Glide path back’ to more normal A-levels needed, Williamson says

·2-min read

A “glide path back to a more normal state of affairs” for A-levels will be needed, the Education Secretary has said, as top results rose to a record high.

Speaking on Tuesday morning before the results were officially announced, Gavin Williamson defended an increase in the proportion of higher grades, describing an “exceptional year” and saying students have worked “incredibly hard” and the results should be “celebrated”.

Hundreds of thousands of students have been given grades determined by teachers, rather than exams, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught during the pandemic, following a second year in a row when exams were cancelled due to Covid-19.

The proportion of A-level entries awarded an A grade or higher has risen to an all-time high. In total, more than two in five (44.8%) of UK entries were awarded an A or A* grade this summer – up by 6.3 percentage points on last year when 38.5% achieved the top grades.

The figures, published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), cover A-level entries from students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Mr Williamson told Sky News “we very much hope that we will be moving to a system of where we are able to move into the more normal pattern of examinations from next year”.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that as the pandemic ends there will have to be a “glide path back to a more normal state of affairs”.

He said students “have worked incredibly hard for those grades, wherever they have been, right across the country, and I think we should be celebrating that”.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Asked about concerns over grade inflation for A-levels, Mr Williamson said: “These grades are absolutely worth so much, they are the key for those youngsters to take that next step.

“But we do have to recognise that, as we come out of this pandemic, we will equally have to take steps and take a glide path back to a more normal state of affairs.”

“This year is a year that we can’t truly compare to any other year,” Mr Williamson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“No other cohort of students have experienced a situation where they haven’t been able to go into the classroom for a sustained period of time, not just once, but actually twice, and we have seen people having different experiences.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting