Leaving Cert Disaster Incoming As UK Government U-Turns On A-Levels Results

Leaving Cert Disaster Incoming As UK Government U-Turns On A-Levels Results

A Leaving Cert disaster looms as the UK government have decided to disregard moderated grades for A-Levels and GCSE students following student pressure.

Akin to Scotland last week, the UK government have bowed to pressure and instead issued students with grades they were predicted from their teachers. With Ireland planning on going ahead with moderated grades for Leaving Cert students, it spells disaster for both the class of 2020 and the government itself.

Once the results were announced in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, there were immediate calls for the grades to be rescinded. Although it took a week, eventually the UK government heeded the will of the people.

The UK's education secretary, Gavin Williamson, apologised for "significant inconsistencies" in the moderation process, despite days earlier pledging that there would be "no u-turn, no change" to the process.

"This has been an extraordinarily difficult year for young people who were unable to take their exams.

"We worked with Ofqual to construct the fairest possible model, but it is clear that the process of allocating grades has resulted in more significant inconsistencies than can be resolved through an appeals process."

“We now believe it is better to offer young people and parents certainty by moving to teacher assessed grades for both A and AS level and GCSE results.


“I am sorry for the distress this has caused young people and their parents but hope this announcement will now provide the certainty and reassurance they deserve.”

The UK's exams regulator Ofqual issued their own statement in which they apologised for pursuing moderation processes that had caused "real anguish and damaged public confidence."

"Expecting schools to submit appeals where grades were incorrect placed a burden on teachers when they need to be preparing for the new term and has created uncertainty and anxiety for students. For all of that, we are extremely sorry.

"We have therefore decided that students be awarded their centre assessment for this summer - that is, the grade their school or college estimated was the grade they would most likely have achieved in their exam - or the moderated grade, whichever is higher.

"The path forward we now plan to implement will provide urgent clarity."

The Irish government is still planning on utilising moderated grades for Leaving Cert results on September 7, despite warning signs from Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland.

If the pathway is followed, the consequences could be disasterous.


Sean Meehan

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