GCSE pupils across the country have been sharing their nerves ahead of their results day tomorrow, amid a furious row over grade inflation after record-breaking A-level results.
Thousands of terrified teenagers are waiting in anticipation for their teacher-assessed grades tomorrow, which were reintroduced in January after exams were cancelled across the UK owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many took to Twitter to share their jitters ahead of the big day, with exam results able to be collected from 8.30am at many schools or providers.
The grades will determine if pupils can get into their chosen sixth form or college – with many hoping for similar success that was seen in the record-breaking A-level results earlier this week.
It comes as several critics pointed to the ‘grade inflation’ seen across the country, where a furious row erupted as the bridge between private and state pupils grew further yet again.
Several critics pointed to the ‘grade inflation’ seen across the country, where a furious row erupted as the bridge between private and state pupils grew further yet again. Above: Two delighted students in Belfast celebrate receiving their A-level results
Almost 45 per cent of A-level exams had been graded A or A* under the system of teacher assessments.
This was a big rise from the 39 per cent that received the top two grades last year – and a huge increase on the 25 per cent in 2019, the last time exams were run.
But at private schools, an astonishing 70 per cent of A-level entries by fee-paying pupils were graded A or A*. This compared with 42 per cent of entries at state academies, 39 per cent at comprehensives and 35 per cent at sixth form colleges.
In January, traditional assessments were scrapped in favour of teacher-led assessments for a second year in a row.
Educators drew on a range of evidence from pupils including mock exams, coursework, and in-class assessments using questions provided by exam boards in order to determine a grade.
With such an unorthodox method of grading going ahead for a second year in a row, several GCSE pupils took to Twitter to share their nerves ahead of results day.
Thousands of terrified teenagers are waiting in anticipation for their teacher-assessed grades tomorrow, which were reintroduced in January after exams were cancelled across the UK owing to the Covid-19 pandemic
Others shared humorous memes and GIFs online as they get set for one of the biggest days of their lives so far.
Parents even waded into the discussion, with Lucy Cray saying: ‘To say my house is tense would be an understatement.’
The growing disparity between state and private pupils drew a slew of criticism, with Labour claiming the gap between results this year was the result of the ‘Williamson effect’.
One MP told The Telegraph that the growing attainment gap between state and private institutions was a ‘national disaster’.
Other students shared humorous memes and GIFs online as they get set for one of the biggest days of their lives so far, while anxious parents also waded into the discussion
Gavin Williamson is reportedly in danger of being sacked by Boris Johnson after a furious row erupted after the bridge between private and state pupils in terms of top grades grew to its widest in the recent era.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, who has campaigned for a level playing field between comprehensives and private schools, told MailOnline state education was let down by unions and teachers during the pandemic, which was borne out in the results yesterday.
He said: ‘The state system is heavily unionised and this is holding back schools and the children they are meant to serve. People have to realise that the public sector is not being run for the benefit of the public – it is run for the benefit of the people working in it’.
Critics has accused the government of allowing excessive grade inflation over the last two years to let A levels slip towards ‘meaninglessness’.
Robert Halfon, the Conservative chair of the education select committee, said that ‘a hard rock cake of grade inflation’ had been ‘baked into’ exam results.
And Nick Hillman, a director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, warned that if A Levels became less useful in terms of selection then more universities could demand applicants take bespoke university entry exams.
It has been reported that one solution being considered by the Department for Education is to ‘reset’ standards by scrapping the letter-based grades and moving to a numerical system. This happened to GCSEs in 2014 under reforms by then Education Secretary Michael Gove.
Yesterday Gavin Williamson, the current Education Secretary, said that his department would be ‘looking at different measures’ to tackle grade inflation, adding: ‘There are a whole range of policy options we can look at.’
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘In terms of actually making sure there is a feeling and understanding of the difference between grading where we are currently and grading where we are in the future, that’s something we are looking at in great detail.’
A Department for Education source told the i newspaper that the idea was part of ‘discussions that are being had within the department’.