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BTEC Results Withdrawn in Chaos of Another U-turn as UAE Schools Forced to Delay Results

BTEC Results Withdrawn in Chaos of Another U-turn as UAE Schools Forced to Delay Results

by Jon WestleyAugust 20, 2020

Background – BTEC Results Withdrawn in Chaos of Another U-turn as UAE Schools Forced to Delay Results

Yet *** another *** U-turn has hit students across UAE British curriculum schools as now BTEC Results are withdrawn whilst they are recalculated following erratic grading, clerical errors, delayed results and another hated algorithm that put grade inflation before the accuracy of student achievement.

The move by Pearson follows the decision of the UK government to U-turn on the “hated” algorithm previously used to decide A’ Level and GCSE results which had resulted in 40% plus of students seeing their grades reduced compared with grades recommended by their teachers to stop grade inflation.

This U-turn has already also this week seen two further U-turns, first, by Cambridge International – who have withdrawn all International A’ Level (IA) and International GCSE (IGCSE) results to regrade them based on teacher-recommended grades, and, second, a U-turn by the International Baccalaureate, which has also now re-issued results based on coursework to properly reflect the individual abilities of students.

All British curriculum qualifications this year will now be based on the grades predicted and recommended by teachers. In rare cases where the algorithm produced better results that will be honoured.

Whilst the U-turns have put right what would have been the single biggest failure in the British educational system since its history, the fiasco has badly shaken UAE students, their families and schools and imposed unnecessary anguish and stress. Many students has been rejected from first choice universities and courses and, even after the reversal, some students are being asked to delay places by universities because they can no longer meet demand.

The move will be welcomed by schools across the UAE and follows a campaign by for all this year’s British qualifications to be based on the recommendations of teachers who know their children best, rather than impersonal statistical algorithms designed to prioritise the avoidance of grade inflation at the expense of accurate results for students. This year, students, through no fault of their own, were denied the chance to sit examinations because of Covid 19.

Johnathan Westley, Editor, commented:


“BTEC are a vital qualification in top tier British Schools that are designed to meet the needs and ambitions of children seeking a technical qualification and direct business and industry experience. Yet again, we saw a complete failure of natural justice in discounting the vital role of teachers in knowing their students best in favour of obscure statistical algorithms designed to ignore them and the interests of their students.

Many UAE BTEC students, robbed of access to their chosen universities, will now have the same opportunity as all other British curriculum students to access their first choice universities and courses.

This is a good day for UAE schools and students.”

This is a rapidly developing story and we have approached schools for comment.


Pearson statement for UAE students in Full

BTEC Results Withdrawn in Chaos of Another U-turn as UAE Schools Delay Results

Qualification news.
Update on BTEC grading.

Update on BTEC grading: BTEC Level 3 Nationals (2010 QCF and 2016 RQF), BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Awards, BTEC Level 2 Technicals and BTEC 1/2 Firsts 

Following Ofqual’s announcement that A’ Level and GCSE students are to receive Centre Assessment Grades, we have reviewed the impact on BTEC students and taken on board feedback from teachers, schools and colleges. Following our review and your feedback we have decided to apply Ofqual’s principles for students receiving BTECs this summer.

This means we will now be regrading all the following BTECs – BTEC Level 3 Nationals (2010 QCF and 2016 RQF), BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Awards, BTEC Level 2 Technicals and BTEC Level 1/2 Firsts and we have written to all schools, colleges and training providers today advising them of this.

BTEC qualification results have 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. 

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.

We will work urgently with you to reissue these grades and will update you as soon as we possibly can.

We want to reassure students that no grades will go down as part of this review. 

We appreciate this will cause additional uncertainty for students and we are sorry about this. Our priority is to ensure fair outcomes for BTEC students in relation to A Levels and GCSEs and that no BTEC student is disadvantaged. 

Therefore, we ask schools and colleges not to issue any BTEC L1 and L2 results on 20th August as these will be reviewed and where appropriate, regraded.

We will share more information with you as soon as we can. Please if you have any questions. We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.

Best wishes,

Cindy Rampersaud
Senior Vice-President
BTEC & Apprenticeships


Contacting Pearson

Pearson can be contacted here


Further Information

Our Guide to BTEC can be found here. 

The Results Week LIVE! Blog can be found here.

More on the A Level and GCSE U-turn, here.

More on the International A’ Level and IGCSE U-turn, here.

More on the International Baccalaureate Diploma and Career-related Programme U-turn, here.

© 2020. All rights reserved.

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]

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