A-Level exam results, the equivalent of Class 12 board exams in India, released across England, Wales and Northern Ireland on Thursday have caused much upset among teachers and students after many were downgraded from those predicted based on past performance after examinations were cancelled due to lockdown.
In England, 36 per cent of entries had a lower grade than teachers predicted and 3 per cent were down two grades. While the overall results, across the three regions of the UK, show record highs for A* and A grades, controversy brews over how they were decided.
"While there has been an overall increase in top grades, we are very concerned that this disguises a great deal of volatility among the results at school and student level," said Geoff Barton, leader of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) head teachers' union.
"Something has obviously gone horribly wrong with this year's exam results. Nearly 40 per cent of young people have had their grades marked down and that's thousands of young people whose opportunities could have been dashed," said Opposition Labour Party Leader Sir Keir Starmer.
The Sixth Form Colleges Association, catering to 16 to 19 year olds, has called the system for calculating A-level grades "flawed and unreliable" after almost all colleges said grades were lower or much lower than predicted.
Many college principals also reported results lower or "dramatically lower" than their historic exam performance.
However, the government insisted that the system was "robust" because it included a new "triple lock" process for exam results under which students can accept the calculated grade received on Thursday, appeal to receive a valid mock result, or sit an exam in the autumn.