A-level students now won’t get grades lower than their mocks

The government announced the change at 11pm last night

A-level students in England now won’t get grades lower than their mocks, after a government u-turn.

After the Scottish government announced all students whose grades got moderated down could keep their original teacher-assessed grades yesterday – in the wake of 75,000 students getting downgraded – the Department for Education responded with a “safety net” for English students, allowing them to appeal results with their mocks.

Students will be able to use their mocks to appeal if their final results are lower than the result they got in their mocks.

However, the last-minute change by the government – which does not go as far as the Scottish changes – has been slammed by school leaders. Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers’ union, said it “beggars belief”, adding: “The government doesn’t appear to understand how mock exams work. They aren’t a set of exams which all conform to the same standards. The clue is in the name ‘mock’.”

The Department for Education said: “A new ‘triple lock’ process will give young people added security as they receive their grades this year, the Education Secretary has announced.

“Students could accept their calculated grade, appeal to receive a valid mock result, or sit autumn exams to ensure the achievements of young people are recognised.

“Ofqual has been asked to determine how and when valid mock results can be used to calculate grades.”