Education secretary Gavin Williamson was forced into an embarrassing climb down as Government abandoned its failed A-levels algorithm.
Close to 40% of college students were awarded grades lower than predicted by exams regulator Ofqual, which based its controversial formula on the historical grades of schools.
It resulted in many students who attended schools in more deprived areas being marked down.
After a public backlash Mr Williamson said: “I am sorry for the distress this has caused young people and their parents but hope this announcement will now provide the certainty and reassurance they deserve.”
Students will now receive the grades predicted by their teachers.
Ofqual chair Roger Taylor also apologised to students for the distress caused by the grading system.
The Government has had months to sort out exams and has now been forced into a screeching U-turn after days of confusion.
This is a victory for the thousands of young people who have powerfully made their voices heard this past week.
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) August 17, 2020
He told the BBC: “I would like to say sorry. We have recognised the difficulty that young people have faced coping with the receipt of grades that they were unable to understand the basis on which they had been awarded.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described the “schreeching U-turn” as victory for students.
He said in a Tweet: “The Government has had months to sort out exams and has now been forced into a screeching U-turn after days of confusion. This is a victory for the thousands of young people who have powerfully made their voices heard this past week.
“However, the Tories’ handling of this situation has been a complete fiasco. Incompetence has become this Government’s watchword, whether that is on schools, testing or care homes. Boris Johnson’s failure to lead is holding Britain back.”