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GCSE students set to receive record-breaking results after botched algorithm’s axed

TEENAGERS are set to get record-breaking GCSEs tomorrow after the botched marking system was torn up.

But teachers warned that popular A-level and job courses may now be swamped by pupils with boosted grades.

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Politicians have called for a Nightingale-style drive to build temporary classrooms to cope with the extra numbers.

A whopping 31.6 per cent of all GCSEs are expected to be at level 7 or above – the equivalent of As and A*s.

This is up from 24.7 per cent of GCSEs last year.

The number of passes at Level 4 – the old Grade C – or higher is expected to rocket from 72.7 per cent last year, to 82.4 per cent this year.

The figures come from this year’s teacher assessed grades, which were slipped in a document by exam bosses Ofqual and buried on their website.

It lays bare the surging grade inflation which will hit England this year.

MPs and teachers warned the bumper marks will spark a frantic race for the best A Level and vocational courses.

Tory MP Robert Halfon, boss of the education select committee, said colleges fear they will not have enough space.

He said: “They may need extra money so they can expand places and build temporary classrooms.

“Every sinew must be strained so that every youngster can go to the college of their choice.”

Labour peer and ex-Education Secretary David Blunkett called for cash for a “Nightingale-style further education provision”, with colleges taking over offices or public buildings for extra space.

David Laws, boss of the Education Policy Institute, warned the inflated grades may cause some kids to sign up to nerdy which are too hard for them.

The ex-schools minister said: “There is a risk that more students will switch courses or even drop out halfway through the year.

“Schools and colleges will need to cope with this uncertainty and the implications for their budgets.

“The second pressure is whether schools and colleges have the physical capacity to take on an extra group of pupils, while ensuring that they are as safe as possible given the risks related to Covid-19.”

Geoff Barton, boss of the ASCL teachers union, said the beefed up grades could see a surge in demand for the best sixth forms.

He added: “That could necessitate increasing class sizes in some courses and there may be pressure on the space that is available in some institutions.”

Professor Alan Smithers, from Buckingham University, said the better grades are not a sign of branier kids.

He said: “Parents and pupils will be very pleased at the grades they are getting. But they will be less informative and less helpful.

“Students may find themselves doing A Levels they struggle with, or on apprenticeships which are too tough, because teachers have given them over generous marks.”

Bosses also U-turned on BTec exams tonight, vowing to drop the computer calculated grades and use the higher teacher grades instead.

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