Exam regulator Ofqual is reviewing its guidelines released on Saturday on how to appeal against A-level and GCSE scores using mock exam results.
It comes just hours after Ofqual explained what constitutes a ‘valid’ mock exam for students appealing against A-level results in England.
The regulator has now suspended these criteria and additional information will be released “in due course”.
Almost 40% of grade A grades were reduced from teachers’ expectations.
Neither A-level students nor GCSE students have been able to take public exams this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ofqual said earlier on Saturday that when a mock written exam was not passed, he would instead consider other teacher assessments.
However, a statement released late Saturday night on the regulator’s website read: “Earlier today we published information on the results of mock exams in the appeals.
“This policy is under review by the Board of Directors of Ofqual and more information will be released in due course. ”
According to BBC political correspondent Jonathan Blake, the Department of Education does not appear to be aware of the change and the revised criteria are likely to draw further criticism of the government’s handling of the review process in England.
The criteria by which he would accept a “valid fictitious assessment” were previously stated as follows:
- Supervised, invisible and undertaken under conditions intended to secure work as a student
- Either the previous evaluations produced by the relevant examination committee, or the evaluations prepared by the teachers
- Taken under timed conditions
- Completed before March 20, 2020, when schools and colleges were closed
- Marked according to a scoring system provided by the competent examination board
- Scored in accordance with the Examination Board Exam Standard
Before the results were released, the Education Department announced a “triple lock,” meaning that students could use the highest result of their teacher’s expected grade, their mock exam, or take the actual examination in the fall.
However, the Labor Party complained that, according to the Ofqual criteria, some students would not be able to use their mock scores as the basis for an appeal if the assessment did not meet the criteria.
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Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green said: “Gavin Williamson promised to give students a triple lock, but instead left a lot of people devastated by unfair test results , and now his commitment to give them another chance is quickly dissipating. ”
She added, “After promising that students will be able to use a valid dummy score, the reality is that many will not receive these scores even if they represent a student’s best score.
“The latest chaos is the inevitable consequence of this government’s chaotic approach to exams, which saw solutions devised on the back of a pack of cigarettes and announced barely a day before young people received their results. ”
The government faces growing criticism of its management of A-level results, with thousands of students devastated.
A student rejected by the university of her choice after being demoted told Minister of Schools Nick Gibb: “You have ruined my life”.
The government announced on Friday that schools will not have to pay to appeal exam scores.
But the policy has been criticized by Liberal Democrats, with Layla Moran, the party’s education spokeswoman, saying it was “cold comfort” for students, adding that the movement “should never have been be necessary “.
Fears follow that costs, which can reach as high as £ 150, could prevent schools from taking on more difficult-to-prove cases.