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    The government today insisted it will not bow to pressure to drop ‘standardisation’ of A-level grades – amid fears a Scottish-style U-turn on giving teachers the final say could hike pass rates by 12 percentage points.<br>Students in England are due to learn their fate tomorrow after seeing their courses blighted by coronavirus, with exams having to be scrapped. <br>But ministers are braced for a major backlash, with regulator Ofqual preparing to moderate the marks suggested by teachers to ensure the overall results are in line with previous years.<br>Similar arrangements in Scotland were humiliatingly abandoned by Nicola Sturgeon this week after fury that around 125,000 pupils had been downgraded.

    The volte face meant that the Higher pass rate is up 14.4 percentage points compared to last year.<br>In an 11th-hour concession last night, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that the potential grounds for appeal were being widened to cover students awarded lower grades than they received in mock exams.<br>A-level and GCSE pupils will now be able to take the grades they are awarded, appeal through schools, or sit exams in the autumn, in what Mr Williamson has branded a ‘triple lock’.<br>But the government is still resisting calls for a fundamental overhaul of the arrangements or to ditch the ‘standardisation’ process altogether.<br>Ofqual has warned that not moderating the marks awarded by teachers would lead to huge grade inflation – with a 12 percentage point rise in the pass rates for A-Levels and 9 per cent for GCSEs.  <br>Research by University College London released yesterday showed that up to 74 per cent of predicted grades are an overestimate of exam performance.<br>The study by UCL’s Institute of Education also showed 80 per cent of teacher predictions of A-level outcomes from a previous year were inaccurate. <br> Schools in Scotland have reopened fully this week for the first time since lockdown. Pictured, St Paul’s High School in Glasgow<br> Scottish schools are back weeks before those in England as the holidays finish earlier north of the border<br> Some pupils were wearing face masks at St Paul’s High School in Glasgow today, although they are not being encouraged in England<br> Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has been forced to offer an unprecedented ‘triple lock’ in the wake of the Scottish exams fiasco<br> RELATED ARTICLES

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