The marks required to secure top grades in the first tougher new GCSE and A-level examinations have been lowered to avert a dramatic fall in results this summer, The Sunday Times can reveal.
The biggest exam shake-up in a generation — the brainchild of Michael Gove, the former education secretary — had been designed to drive up standards, bring England into line with top-performing systems in the Far East and identify academic high-flyers for the best universities.
Critics said the exam regulator’s decision to lower the mark thresholds needed for good grades made the reforms pointless, especially if it becomes routine.
Sally Collier, chief regulator of Ofqual, said: “I want the message to be that students have done fantastically well. All our kids are brilliant.
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