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Daily News Summary
17 August 2023

Exams 2023: Top grades fall as system 'returns to normal'
Think tank director calls for university tuition fees to be raised
Pupils demoralised by pandemic urged to come back to school

Exams 2023: Top grades fall as system 'returns to normal'


Approximately 73,000 fewer A*s and As have been awarded this year compared with 2022, following ministers’ pledge to return the system to normal after the pandemic. Overall, 32,000 more top grades were awarded than in 2019 but there have been significant variations between countries and regions. By Nicola Woolcock, George Willoughby, Ryan Watts and Emma Yeomans, The Times.

Sky News reports that results have fallen most steeply in Cornwall and the North East when compared to 2019, but that grades remain elevated in much of the South East. Dr Jo Saxton, Ofqual's chief regulator, has said pupils across the country have been treated "fairly" and "there have always been differences between regions".

Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council (ISC), has said the reputation of A-levels and GCSEs has been undermined because pupils in Wales and Northern Ireland received extra help this year. Speaking to The Times, Mr Lenon said "Wales and Scotland are using a different approach to grading", adding that this has created a "serious complication for the system, especially as the qualifications have the same name". By Nicola Woolcock.

Exam boards are reportedly expecting a record number of A-level appeals as thousands of school leavers seek to secure university places after receiving their grades today. By Cahal Milmo, iNews.

Clare Marchant, chief executive of UCAS, has written in Schools Week with advice for teachers on how they can best help pupils facing clearing.


Think tank director calls for university tuition fees to be raised


Writing in The Times, director of the Social Market Foundation think tank James Kirkup warns of the "baleful consequences" of not raising university fees amid concerns over low-quality courses and an over-reliance on international students. Mr Kirkup says: "Sooner or later, someone must grasp this nettle and raise tuition fees. The alternative is the decline of a sector that should be one of the best things about Britain."

The Times

Pupils demoralised by pandemic urged to come back to school


Gillian Keegan has told children who “lost their confidence” during the Covid pandemic to “dig deep” and come back to school. The education secretary's comments were prompted by analysis from The Telegraph, which suggested 28 per cent of secondary pupils in England missed at least a month of school in the last academic year. By Louisa Clarence-Smith.

The Telegraph


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