Results 2020: Your questions answered

Students at Bristnall Hall Academy in Oldbury, as they receive their GCSE results.

Students across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire have been collecting their results this month, despite exams being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, the results days have been surrounded by confusion and uncertainty.

Here are your questions answered:

GCSEs and A-level summer exams were cancelled due to coronavirus

What were the issues with the algorithm?

Ofqual's algorithm faced criticism for penalising disadvantaged students and benefiting private pupils.

And schools and colleges with more students reportedly saw more grades downgraded than those with less.

Nationally, around 40 per cent of A-level grades had affected state schools more than private institutions.

Which grades can now be used?

A-level and GCSE students can use the grades submitted by schools and colleges to exam boards.

The Ofqual algorithm was designed to moderate grades to relatively reflect previous years. But after a public outcry over inconsistencies in grading, students can now keep their calculated grade from exam boards.

And if their schools' original estimated grade was higher, then they can use that result.

Can appeals still be made?

Students were told that they could use the highest result out of their calculated grade from exam boards, their mock exam or sitting an actual exam in the autumn.

But the government has now said mock exam results will no longer be a key part of the appeals process for A-level and GCSE students.

It means students can sit exams in the autumn if they are unsatisfied with both their calculated grade and centre assessment grade.

Full guidance on appeals has not yet been published, but exam boards are under pressure as the UCAS deadline for applicants to meet their offer conditions is 7 September.

Will universities admit students who now have their grades?

The government has said it will remove restrictions on admissions to help more students progress.

It comes after calls for greater flexibility from universities in admitting students to courses.

However, there are fears that increased numbers will cause a lack of capacity, staffing, accommodation and facilities.

Some students who have now secured their first choice after the U-turn may be asked to defer their place by a year if there is no space left on their preferred course.

What will happen with BTEC grades?

Students and teachers are calling for urgent clarity on how the U-turn announcement will affect BTEC students.

The government said he is hopeful that the changes extend to the vocational qualifications.