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Gavin Williamson announces govt will cover costs of appeals for A-levels and GCSE students following exam chaos

THE Education Secretary has pledged the Government will cover the costs of exam results appeals.

It comes after thousands of disappointed A-level students were rejected from their first choice universities due to downgraded exam results.

Gavin Williamson told The Times every school in the UK will be able to appeal GCSE and A-level results for free.

The move is estimated to cost between £8 and £15 million, and help to and “shocking injustices,” said Mr Williamson.

Costs per pupil can rise to up to £150 for grade reviews, but this is refunded in full if the review is successful, and the student is awarded a higher grade.

Mr Williamson said: “I do not want a youngster to feel they are in a situation where there is a strong and legitimate grounds for appeal, but an appeal is not made on grounds of cost.”

The Government were lambasted with criticism yesterday as A Level students said they had been “let down and betrayed” by the marking algorithm, bought in as exams and lessons were scrapped across the country due to coronavirus.

A whopping 39 per cent of teacher-predicted grades were cut by the computer algorithm – sending results day into meltdown.

Labour branded the system “fatally flawed” and demanded No10 copy Scotland, tear up the system and give out higher grades as predicted by teachers.

But the exams regulator said it was forced to act after teachers dished out “implausibly high” grades.

Ofqual said: “Because there was no opportunity to develop a common approach to grading, the standard applied by different schools and colleges varies greatly.

“A rare few centres put in implausibly high judgments, including one which submitted all A* and A grades for students in two subjects, where previously there had been normal distribution.”

Scores of pupils yesterday told how they had lost out on their dream places at university over the fiasco.

Tory MP and education select committee boss Robert Halfon demanded the appeals process is massively widened.

And Gavin Williamson is reportedly on the brink of being sacked following the fiasco.

Cabinet colleagues have sharpened their knives against Mr Williamson, with one cruelly comparing him to the gaffe-prone Frank Spencer in the sitcom Some Mothers Do Ave Em.

They told The Sun: “It turns out putting Frank Spencer in charge of running schools wasn’t a good idea.”

Meanwhile, a growing number of furious Tory MPs joined the backlash against the A Level marking chaos.

And the new plans have not been without criticism, with many on social media branding the announcement too little to late.

Many students have had to accept places at second-choice universities or through clearing after the downgraded results saw their first-choice offers withdrawn.

A-level student Megan, from Hull, received A, B, B when she was predicted three As.

She bravely told GMB she would have got the required grades to go to Leeds University if she had taken the exams. 

Megan said: “I got an A and two Bs. I needed three As to get into the University of Leeds.

“That was my three predicted grades from my teachers. So I’m a bit disappointed.

“I think I could have got my three As if I did my exams which I’m sad about.

“I think I deserved three As, so it’s annoying. I’m just hoping Leeds will let me in with these grades.” 

Her principal Mr Britain said: “It’s completely unfair when students like Megan when an algorithm, some sort of standardisation process has meant she hasn’t got the grades that she should have got.

“Yes, hopefully you’ll still get into the university, but it’s still not right that these young people haven’t got the correct grades.”

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