UK government faces more criticism after latest school exam problem

LONDON (Reuters) – The government of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced further criticism on Thursday over its handling of scoring of school exams after the results of hundreds of thousands of students were extracted.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has been accused of overseeing a fiasco over how grades were assigned to teens who were unable to pass their exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pearson exam board announced Wednesday night that it would recalculate scores for BTECs, specialist work-related qualifications, just hours before students receive their results.

His move came days after the government bowed to pressure from angry students, teachers and lawmakers and scrapped an algorithm that had downgraded A-level scores for nearly 40% of students leaving school. school last week, with people in disadvantaged areas hit hardest.

Students were told on Monday that they would now get the grade their teachers predicted them based on their past performance, and this process is also being adopted for younger students receiving their GCSE scores on Thursday.

However, Pearson said the change meant he now had to change his BTEC grades.

“We have become concerned about injustice, including consistency with the approaches currently used for the GCSE and A levels,” he said in a statement.

Williamson has been accused of ignoring warnings that the scoring system will lead to unfair results and he and Johnson have been criticized by the media for their handling of the issue.

“Every step of the way there are issues that you have to face and deal with, and we are dealing with them quickly,” Schools Minister Nick Gibb told BBC television. “Like I said, we are working day and night to address these issues. “

He echoed Williamson’s apologies for the uncertainty and confusion caused.

“Gavin Williamson has been repeatedly warned about the problems with the scoring algorithm, and each time he has done nothing,” said Kate Green, Labor spokesperson for education . “This never-ending pattern of incompetence is no way to run a country.”

(This story is passed on to correct the spelling error in the first paragraph)

Reporting by Michael Holden, additional reporting by Sarah Young; edited by Kate Holton


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