Welsh U-turn comes as No 10 faces intensifying pressure over the A-levels and GCSEs exam grading crisis in England

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Ryanair is to cancel almost one in five flights from its September and October schedules after a drop in bookings in the last 10 days, as Covid-19 cases have increased in Europe, leading in order to fresh quarantine restrictions .

Europe’s biggest carrier said forward bookings had “noticeably weakened” and it would take 20% from the capacity to reflect demand, mainly cutting flight frequencies rather than routes.

Related: Ryanair cancels flights on fresh UK quarantine restrictions

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School leaders in Wales have welcomed the announcement in the last hour that teacher-assessed grades will be accepted for A-levels and GCSEs.

Eithne Hughes, director of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Cymru , said: “

We welcome the government’s decision to put an end to the grading fiasco by allowing students to receive teacher-assessed grades rather than grades which possess been moderated down.

Students, parents, and teachers will breathe a sigh of relief after days of confusion and palpable upset at the particular anomalies thrown up by an algorithm in which the individual learner was lost.

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Next articleCoronavirus has changed everything. Make sense of it with the Waugh Zone, our day politics briefing.  Sign up today . A-level and GCSE results determined by a computer algorithm in England is going to be scrapped and replaced with educators ’ called grades following a significant and humiliating climbdown from the government.The news follows a furious backlash from students, teachers and parents over computer modelling used by Ofqual. It saw that the A-level outcomes of nearly 40% of students downgraded, with poorer students disproportionately hit.Students whose quality was higher under the algorithm calculation are able to keep the higher tier, Ofqual has stated. It follows authorities Wales and Northern Ireland also Placing policy over the examinations. He explained: “This was an extraordinarily tough year for young people who were unable to take their examinations. “We worked together with Ofqual to construct the fairest possible design, but it’s apparent that the procedure for allocating grades has led to more significant inconsistencies than could be solved through an appeals procedure.  “We believe it’s far better to offer young people and parents certainty by simply moving to teacher assessed grades for both A and AS level and GCSE results. ”Ofqual chair Roger Taylor included in a statement: &ldquoWe know this was a distressing time for students, who were given exam results last week for examinations they never accepted. The pandemic has created circumstances nobody could have ever imagined or wished for.“We wish to now take action to eliminate as much stress and uncertainty for young people as possible — and to free up heads and teachers to work towards the significant task of getting all schools open in a couple of weeks.“Following reflection, we’ve determined that the best way to do this is to award grades on the basis of what teachers filed. The change to center assessment grades will apply to both AS and A-levels as well as the GCSE outcomes which students will receive later this week. ” Adding there was “no easy solution” to providing results where no tests have taken place, Taylor explained: “Our goal has always been to safeguard the trust that the public rightly has in educational qualifications.“However we recognise that while the strategy we adopted attempted to attain these goals we also appreciate that it has also caused real distress and damaged public confidence.“Expecting schools to fill appeals where scores were incorrect placed a burden on teachers when they need to be preparing for the new term, and it has created uncertainty and anxiety for students. For all of this, we are extremely sorry. ” The regulator was preparing to get an avalanche of appeals to the outcomes following the Covid-19 lockdown meant students were unable to take examinations. Williamson had tried to placate students before the results were published last Thursday by stating students could appeal on the basis of what their mock exam results were. But developing resistance to the downgraded marks has meant that the government has had to immediately change its position. At a briefing with reporters, Williamson claimed he became aware of the need for a change over the weekend following Ofqual published details of its own algorithm and introduced evidence, alongside that of “outside specialists ”, which exhibited “injustices from the system”.The education secretary declined to state he had complete confidence in Ofqual main regulator Sally Collier, but described her as an “incredibly committed and dedicated public ” who ministers were “working really closely with”.Williamson said ensuring pupils from deprived backgrounds were not disadvantaged had consistently been among his principal concerns and that he had received reassurances from Ofqual that the marking down of kids from less advantaged areas and schools, as occurred in Scotland, would not be repeated in England.“Early data from Ofqual showed there was no effect on success of those kids. ”He included: “I saw over Saturday and Sunday, Ofqual themselves highlighted a number of the concerns that they had and also some concerns that their board and there was a number of outside experts who had raised concerns about this and ’therefore why people chose action. ”Labour leader Keir Starmer has accused Boris Johnson’s administration of incompetence. He explained: “The government has had months to sort out examinations and has been forced into a screeching U-turn following times of confusion. This is a success for the thousands of young people who have powerfully made their voices heard this past week.&ldquoNonetheless, the Tories’ handling of this scenario was a complete fiasco.   Incompetence has come to be this government’s watchword, if that’s on schools, testing or care homes. Boris Johnson’s failure to lead is holding Britain back. ”  St No.10 Signs Imminent U-Turn On Controversial A-Level Grades Boris Johnson Takes Holiday In Scotland As A-Levels Crisis Engulfs Government PM Told Gavin Williamson Has 'Missing The Dressing Room' As A-Levels Backlash Grows

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