Tory education minister gives his handling of A-level results ‘A-’ despite 11th hour change to the way they are calculated

Education minister Nick Gibb (R) and LBC presenter Nick Ferrari; LBC

Education minister Nick Gibb (R) and LBC presenter Nick Ferrari; LBC - Credit: Archant

A Tory education minister has given his handling of calculating A-level results an 'A-', despite an 11th U-turn on the way they are done.

Nick Gibb made the claim while promoting the government's latest measures to the way A-level results are calculated on breakfast TV - a mere 24 hours before they are expected to be released.

The government had planned to estimate results based on grades given by teachers or optional exams in autumn.


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But, following the debacle over results in Scotland, the government move swiftly to add mock exams into the mix over concerns some pupils could be disadvantaged by their scores.

Known as the 'triple-lock' system, A-level students across England will now be told their final results will be no lower than their mock exams.

This system means student will be able to choose whichever is the highest out of three options.

Appearing on LBC's Nick Ferrari show, Gibb was asked how he would grade his handling of the situation.

'Minister, you and your colleagues suspended the exams in March. We are now in the middle of August when you take these actions.

'What grade would you give you and your government with how you have handled this - a D or an E?'

'Which would it be? You're not seriously going to say you got an A-?' Ferrari asked.

Gibb responded: 'I would be somewhere in that vicinity.'

'An A-? You had April, May, June, July - four and a half months - and you act the night before? And you've got an A-?' Ferrari exclaimed.

'Dear God, what would a D look like?'

Gibb insisted his department has been acting throughout this period to make sure they had 'the best model possible'.

He said: 'We consulted widely on the original standardisation model. It had support, teachers understood it, they submitted their grades in May and June.

'We looked at the data as it started to come through. We have the enhanced appeal system that we announced last week.

'And now today, we're announcing this other form of appeal for a small group of pupils.'

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