42% of A-level students in Wales have received lower grades than predicted by their teachers

Photo by Ben Mullins on Unsplash.

Just over 40% of A-level students in Wales have received lower grades than predicted by their teachers.

As the exam results were released today 42.2% of student were downgraded from their originally assessed grades, 53.7% are as predicted, while 4.1% are higher.

With exam’s cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, grades were based on teachers’ estimates but were then put through a standardisation process.

Last week Qualifications Wales warned Wales’ schools were too generous in assessing GCSE and A-level grades in the absence of exams due to the coronavirus pandemic and said that nearly one in four students (25%) would have received an A* or A in their GCSE results if they had accepted the grades recommended by teachers. That compares to only 17.9% of pupils in 2019.

At A-level, 40.4% achieved A*s and As recommended by teachers when last year only 27% achieved those grades through exams.

Today’s results show 29.9% of students in Wales achieved the top grades, of A* and A in their A-levels this year, up from 27% last year.

Overall, 98.6% of students achieved A* – E, compared with 97.6% in 2019.

The government announced yesterday that no student should get a lower grade for their A-level subject than their AS results last year.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: “I want to send my very best wishes to everyone who receives their A-level, AS, Welsh Bacc and vocational qualification grades today.

“Due to the many changes we’ve had to make this year in exceptional circumstances, you’ve had to make many sacrifices.

“But you have every reason to be proud of all the work you’ve done, which will serve you well, and proud of the determination you have shown to overcome this challenging time. “

Plaid Cymru has called for the government to ensure that GCSE pupils, who get their results next week, don’t suffer a repeat of yesterday’s last-minute changes to the results process.

Siân Gwenllian MS, Plaid Cymru Shadow Education Minister said: “GCSE pupils awaiting their results next week must be treated with more compassion than the students obtaining their A-level grades today and any changes need to be announced sooner rather than later.

“The eleventh-hour changes to A-level grading processes added to the tensions for young people awaiting their results during what are already highly anxious times. It is so important that the same thing doesn’t now happen to GCSE pupils.”

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