Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said on Wednesday he would not apologize for the last-minute system change in England.
Gavin Williamson said students would benefit from being allowed to use their best mock exam scores, a moderate system, or take exams in October.
“I won’t apologize for the fact that we want to make these changes because we believe they will benefit young people,” he said.
Late Tuesday he announced the ” triple locking“System for England ahead of Thursday’s AS and A-level results, which drew criticism from unions, education unions and students.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer called for statutory guidelines to force colleges and universities to show more flexibility in admissions.
He said it was a “flagrant injustice” that young people could see their future decided by their zip code through the exam system.
Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green told Sky News the announcement “hides the cracks in a system that is truly in chaos.”
But Mr Williamson defended the last-minute decision, taken after Scotland was forced to remove moderate ratings after the demotion of more than 124,000 results was overturned.
He said the government was convinced that it could process all appeals and that it was important that they be processed quickly to ensure that all new grades were given in time to enter the university.
“What is so important is that I am doing everything I can to make sure that we have a system that is as fair as possible for each student and that if we have to go the extra mile, as we have here , to give young people the best possible chances in life and make sure they get the grades they’ve worked for and aspire to, ”he added.
“We think we’ve balanced the system perfectly. We want it to be fair to young people.
“We recognize that during a global pandemic we have to do a lot of things in a very different and unusual way, which is why we take a different approach, a more generous approach in terms of the appeals process.
“These actions aim to guarantee the success of young people. ”
With exams unable to take place due to the coronavirus lockdown, 250,000 students will receive results on Thursday based on the predictions made by teachers.
But these forecasts will be subject to moderation by the examination boards who will try to ensure that the results are not inconsistent with previous years by adjusting the marks according to the previous results of the school.
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Welsh exams regulator Qualifications Wales has said it will also stick with a moderate results process, rather than follow the lead of the Scottish or English governments.
In Northern Ireland, the examining body CCEA said all students wishing to appeal their grade can use mock exams as part of their case – a move hailed by Peter Weir, the education minister.
“I made it clear that I did not want to see any student disadvantaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, it is important that qualification standards are maintained, ”he said.