More than 90,000 GCSE and A-level results were changed after challenges to grades awarded this summer – the highest on record and an increase of 17% compared with last year.

Exam regulator Ofqual says there were more than 572,000 queries over grades – an increase of 27%.

Head teachers have complained about the quality of marking and the damaging impact of incorrect grades.

Ofqual is launching a consultation to overhaul the appeals system.

The annual figures from Ofqual show another significant increase in exam papers sent back for being re-marking and grades changed at both A-level and GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Appeals against results meant that 62,000 grades were changed at GCSE and 28,500 at A-level.

The number of grades changed after re-marking has almost doubled in three years. In 99% of cases, it was an upwards change.


Brian Lightman, leader of the ASCL head teachers’ union, said these exam results are of “critical importance to the future of young people”.

“We have warned for some time that the marking system is under huge pressure and fear that the increase in re-grades strongly suggests it is creaking under the strain.”

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