Results Day: A day of celebration for some, but not all....writes Peter Bearne

  • WATCH as students held a protest outside Ofqual's headquarters in Coventry today (20th August).

It's been another tumultuous and testing day for thousands of Midlands students picking up their exam results.

This time, it was BTec students who were left feeling exasperated and in limbo.

Yesterday evening, just hours before results were due out, the examination board responsible for BTecs instructed schools not to issue them as they were being withdrawn and regraded.

Pearson Edexcel said this was in the interest of fairness, and to bring BTecs into line with A-level and GCSE results which have now been based on teacher assessment after a Government U-turn.

A protestor holds up a sign reading 'Justice4Education' outside the Ofqual HQ in Coventry.

The eleventh-hour announcement was a bombshell for many schools and colleges who already had their students' results in envelopes ready for the following morning. 

In a statement, Pearson said, “We know this could cause additional uncertainty for students and we are sorry about this.”

Our priority is to ensure fair outcomes for BTEC students and we will work around the clock to provide revised grades as soon as we can.


The BTEC delay is the latest in a series of problems to hit this year's exam results.

There was uproar over a computer algorithm used by the exam regulator Ofqual to standardise A-level results and prevent "grade inflation". 40% of results were downgraded until the Government U-turn.

Many students have taken to social media - and even to the streets - to protest at the way results have been handled and the implications for their future careers. Today, around a dozen holding placards demonstrated outside Ofqual's headquarters in Coventry.

The Class of 2020 will certainly not forget this academic year in a hurry. Curtailed by Covid-19, their exams were cancelled and the release of their results chaotic. It's been a record year for passes and in the coming weeks and months, there will no doubt be those who seek to put down this cohort's achievements in comparison to previous years. I say you can't compare this year with other years. This year has been unique and in the future employers will need to recognize the unique set of circumstances which impacted upon these students.  

They may not have sat exams, but they have proved themselves perhaps the most resilient year group ever. I wish them all the best in the future.

Read more: