Our Government Cheated us out of our grade’s is what students are saying during protests over the automatic grading system introduced due to Covid-19.
Shamed ministers were forced into a screeching U-turn on the markings fiasco after an outpouring of fury.
Education Secretary Gavin Williams had to apologise and promise A level and GCSE grades based on teacher estimates rather than his computerised system which downgraded results.
Ex-Tory MP Nicholas Soames was less diplomatic.
He said: “What could have been in the Prime Minister’s mind to appoint so unreliable and wholly unsuitable a man to one of the most important jobs in the Government?”.
“Mr Williamson told students he was “incredibly sorry.”.
He added: “When we came up with this system of calculated grades, what we were doing was to ensure that we were having the fairest possible system.”.
“When it became apparent there were unfairness’s within the system it was the right thing to act.”.
Roger Taylor, head of Ofqual, also apologised.
On Saturday Mr Williamson had insisted there would be “no U-turn, no change”.
But rapidly mounting anger amongst pupils, parents, and Tory MPs left him no choice.
Student’s descended on Mr Williamson’s constituency office and Whitehall to vent their anger. And there were threats of a High Court challenge to overturn the system.
Dozens of Tories, including ministers Penny Mordaunt and Johnny Mercer, urged him to change course.
Mr Williamson’s computerised “algorithm” downgraded 39 per cent of A levels — and ministers were braced for GCSE results due on Thursday to be even worse.
NOT HIS FIRST FIASCO
Statistics suggesting private schools did better than state schools and small schools fared far better than big colleges set alarm bells ringing in No 10.
An insider said: “Over the past 48 hours it had become clear the problems were more significant than we realised. Students were very unhappy, and rightly so.”.
The PM phoned Mr Williamson from his camping holiday in Scotland this morning and the pair agreed to a U-turn.
Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales had already made a similar decision.
A YouGov poll found that 40 per cent of people think Mr Williamson should resign. Bookies cut the odds on him getting the boot.
Mr Williamson, who was chief whip and Defence Secretary under Theresa May, refused to say if he had offered to step down.
The exam crisis is not his first brush with fiasco. He was fired as Defence Secretary by Mrs May over claims he leaked state secrets about Huawei’s bid to build Britain’s 5G mobile network.
Mr Williamson denied the claims but it was a sensational fall from grace.
Many believed his career was over but he made a comeback after playing a leading role in Boris’s Johnson’s leadership campaign.
Mr Williamson also infuriated colleagues today by bizarrely posing for a photograph with a whip on his desk as he battled for his political life.
One senior Tory said: “Gavin is a child, always has been. Is this a surprise? No, but it’s profoundly embarrassing and very, very sad.”.
While plenty of students are happy with their new marks, many fear the U-turn could trigger a stampede for university places that are already filled.
Information researched and gathered from mainstream social media outlets.