Teacher submitted grades will stand

The U turn they said would never happen has, of course, happened.

In all parts of the UK, students will receive the highest of their Centre Assessment Grade (CAG) or their calculated grades, whichever is higher.

The situation is slightly more complex in Northern Ireland. Because most A level grades are awarded by English exam boards a final decision has not been made at Stormont, though all GCSEs in NI will be awarded as above.

These changes will see around 40 per cent of A level grades rise by at least one letter. Around 18,000 of calculated grades are higher than the CAGs and will remain at the higher level, the 58.7 per cent of cases where calculated grades were equal to CAGs will remain as they are. But there are no changes to BTEC grades.

 Down 3+ gradesDown 2 gradesDown 1 gradeUnadjustedUp 1 gradeUp 2 gradesUp 3+ gradesTotal
% of A levels adjusted0.23.335.658.72.2<0.1<0.1718,276

The graph below shows calculated grades and CAGs by socio-economic status (SES). You can see that one possibly unintended effect is the large jump in A and A* grades awarded to pupils in the “high” SES group – and note that “high” SES students do better than “low” SES students in both scenarios.

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The recruitment cap for English students has been removed in all parts of the UK. Gavin Williamson said:

Providers won’t be fined and we’re removing those caps on every single university in the United Kingdom, so that they have the ability to expand the number of places, welcoming more students into those universities, as many as possible.”

UCAS has said:

For those students who were not placed with their firm (or insurance) choice university, our advice is that you don’t need to make your decision immediately. Speak with your parents, guardians and teachers and then your first conversation will need to be to your firm (or insurance) choice university. Once your university has your ‘Centre Assessed Grades (CAG)’ via exam bodies they can make a decision as to whether there is a place at your preferred choice.”

We don’t know what measures exist to support university entry – specifically:

  • What support will exist for universities who have now seen a far greater number of applicants meet the terms of their conditional offers?
  • What the status of refusals made on the basis of the calculated offers will be?

Further detail is expected from DfE later today.

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