Almost 600,000 students face more exam chaos after BTec grades were pulled by exam board Pearson on the eve of results day.
Pearson said it would re-grade all its BTec results to bring them in line with A-levels and GCSEs, which now “have significantly higher outcomes”.
The decision was made earlier this week to grade A-levels and GCSEs via teacher-based assessments.
The last minute move will affect 575,000 pupils, just under half of whom collected their grades last week.
The remainder were due to pick up their results tomorrow at the same time as GCSE students.
Pearson apologised for the late decision and uncertainty it would cause.
“BTec qualification results have been been generally consistent with teacher and learner expectations, but we have become concerned about unfairness in relation to what are now significantly higher outcomes for GCSE and A-levels,” a statement read.
Exam regular Ofqual has said GCSE and A-level grades are now likely to be nine and 12 per cent higher respectively.
The Association of Colleges’ said it had asked Pearson to reassessed some grades that appeared unfair.
Chief executive, David Hughes, added: “The timing is worrying, because thousands of students were due to get their results in the morning and others have already got results which we know will not go down, but might improve.
“So it is vital for students that this is sorted in days rather than weeks so students have the chance to celebrate and plan their next steps.”
A Pearson spokesman said “no grades will go down as part of this review” and insisted that it was to ensure BTec students were not at a disadvantaged to other students.
He added: “Although we generally accepted centre assessment grades for internal (i.e. coursework) units, we subsequently calculated the grades for the examined units using historical performance data with a view of maintaining overall outcomes over time.
“Our review will remove these Pearson-calculated grades and apply consistency across teacher-assessed internal grades and examined grades that students were unable to sit. “