Predicted results to be used for Welsh exam grades

The Welsh Government has announced that A-level and GCSE students will be awarded the grades predicted for them by their teachers.

The government’s stance had been widely criticised by students and opposition politicians, but Education Minister Kirsty Williams said that she hoped the decision would ‘maintain confidence in the system’.

A total of 42 per cent of A-level grades predicted by teachers had been lowered when Welsh results were revealed alongside English results last week, prompting a petition calling for students to receive teacher predicted exam grades to be signed by more than 22,000 people.

Williams said that ‘given decisions elsewhere, the balance of fairness now lies with awarding centre assessment grades to students, despite the strengths of the system in Wales’.

Given the fallout over the algorithm used to calculate grades, the Welsh Government will pursue an independent review of the events ‘following the cancellation of this year's exams’.

The change also affects AS-levels, skills challenge certificates and the Welsh Baccalaureate. Students who received higher grades than those predicted by teachers will keep them.

Norther Ireland Education Minister Peter Weir had earlier announced that GCSE results in Northern Ireland will be solely based on grades provided by teachers. GCSEs taken with exams body CCEA - which provides about 97 per cent of GCSE exams in Northern Ireland - will be covered by the decision.

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