Schools promised free appeals over A-level and GCSE grades

Schools in England will be able to appeal A-level and GCSE grades for free, amid growing anger at the way results have been calculated.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson made the promise as protesters gathered outside Downing Street on Friday chanting for him to be sacked after thousands of pupils had the A-level results predicted by their teachers downgraded.

He told the Times: “I do not want a youngster to feel they are in a situation where there is a strong and legitimate case for grounds for appeal, but an appeal is not made on grounds of cost. That would be a real, shocking injustice.

Schools have been told they can appeal A-level and GSCSE grades for free (pic: PA/Gareth Fuller)

“You will have obviously a large number of appeals. But I would rather have a strong, robust fair appeals process that makes sure that youngsters get the grades that they deserve as against being in a situation where there is an injustice that carries on.”

Mr Williamson again said there would be ‘no U-turn’ on the grading system, claiming this would ‘severely erode’ the value of qualifications and lead to grade inflation.

Ofqual has said that a ‘rare few centres’ put in ‘implausibly high judgments’, and said that an appeals process is in place to correct any mistakes.

Shadow education secretary Kate Green has called for the Government to follow Scotland’s lead by letting students use teacher-assessed grades to ‘ensure they can get the results they deserve’, while Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman Layla Moran demanded Mr Williamson’s resignation.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted he has confidence in the education secretary and described the system as ‘robust.