GCSE grades surge after U-turn gives pupils results based on teachers’ estimates

20 Aug 2020 @ 9.40 am
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Graphic: PA

The proportion of GCSE entries in England awarded top grades has surged to record high after a u-turn meant results could be based on teachers’ estimated grades amid cancelled exams.

More than one in four (25.9%) GCSE entries in England scored one of the three top grades this year, up from just over a fifth (20.7%) last summer, figures from exams regulator Ofqual show.

The proportion receiving the top grades – at least a 7 or an A grade – is a record high based on available data following the decision to award grades based on teachers’ assessments, rather than an algorithm.

More than three in four (76%) entries were awarded at least a 4 or a C grade in England this summer, which is up 8.9 percentage points on last year when 67.1% achieved the grades, data from Ofqual shows.

It comes after GCSE and A-level students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were told they would now be awarded the higher of either their teachers’ grade or the moderated grade following an outcry.

Traditional A*-G GCSE grades have been scrapped and replaced in England with a 9-1 system with 9 the highest result. A 4 is broadly equivalent to a C grade, and a 7 broadly equivalent to an A.

Students receiving GCSE results this summer will get numerical grades for all their subjects as all courses have now moved over to the new grading system.