August 14, 2020 1.32 pm This story is over 38 months old

Council leader ‘ashamed’ to be Conservative over ‘shambolic exam results’

Lord Gary Porter has hit out at his party

A Tory council leader in Lincolnshire has said he is “ashamed” to be Conservative and accused of the government of “stiffing thousands of students”.

It follows criticism of the government’s handling of A-Level results, which saw 36% of pupils – around 280,000 – getting a lower exam grade than teachers had predicted.

Tory Peer, Local Government Association chairman and South Holland District Council leader Lord Gary Porter said it was “one of those rare days where I have to say I am ashamed to be a Conservative”.

“We have had months to sort out this A level stuff and today is a cluster…” he said, leaving the sentence unfinished.

“There are going to be hundreds if not thousands of students who get stiffed by the shambolic process.”

A last-minute change to the grading system this week saw hundreds of thousands of school leavers marked based on mock exams other than allowing teachers’ grades.

A similar move in Scotland was overturned following major controversy last week with pupils across the country staging protests.

Despite the number of results downgraded, education figures for England, Wales and Northern Ireland yesterday showed record high results with 27.9% securing top grades and the number of students accepted on to degree courses in the UK increased by 2.9% on last year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended the move yesterday. He said: “The exam results we’ve got today are robust, they’re good, they’re dependable for employers.

“Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, more than ever before are now able to go to university, are going to university this year as a result of the grades they’ve got today.”