Hundreds of Norfolk and Suffolk students face further exam results delay

GSCE and A-level exams were cancelled in March with grades instead awarded using an algorithm overse

GSCE and A-level exams were cancelled in March with grades instead awarded using an algorithm overseen by Ofqual. Picture: PA Images - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of Norfolk and Suffolk students face further exam disappointment today, after schools and colleges were told not to issue BTEC results to students following a last-minute U-turn on grading.

On Wednesday - with less than 24 hours to go until results day - exam board Pearson asked schools and colleges not to publish level 1 and 2 results in the vocational qualifications to give them more time to recalculate the grades.

It follows the announcement that GCSE and A-level students would this year be able to receive grades based on their teachers’ estimates.

Several of Norfolk and Suffolk’s schools and colleges offer BTEC courses, including the University Technical College (UTC), City College Norwich, Easton College and East Norfolk Sixth Form College and Paston College.

BTEC students’ grades were not included in the original announcement, but now Pearson has said it will be regrading BTECs awarded last week - as well as the grades that were due to be released today.

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It comes after education unions and the Labour Party called on the Government to provide clarity on why BTEC students had been left out of Monday’s grading U-turn.

A spokeswoman for Pearson, the provider of BTECs, said: “Following Ofqual’s announcement that A-level and GCSE students are to receive centre-assessed grades, we will be applying the same principles for students receiving BTEC results this summer.

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“We will be regrading BTECs to address concerns about unfairness in relation to A-levels and GCSEs and ensure no BTEC student is disadvantaged.”

She added: “We know this could cause additional uncertainty for students and we are sorry about this.

“Our priority is to ensure fair outcomes for BTEC students and we will work around the clock to provide revised grades as soon as we can.”

A Department for Education (DfE) spokesperson said: “We know this delay to BTEC results will be disappointing for students and understand their frustration.

“The awarding organisations have decided to take more time in order to make absolutely certain no student is inadvertently worse off due to changes in how grades are assessed.

“Critically, no student will see their result downgraded as a result of this review, so results already issued will either stay the same or improve.

“The relevant awarding organisations have assured us that students will receive their results as soon as possible.

“Ofqual, Ucas and the relevant awarding organisations are also working to ensure students seeking entrance to university are not disadvantaged, and we are working with colleges and other further education providers to make sure students looking to continue into further education can still do so.”

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