11:30 GMT24 September 2020
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    On Monday, the UK Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) announced that A-level and GCSE students in Britain would be given the exam grades predicted by their teachers instead of those awarded by a controversial algorithm that had triggered a grading fiasco.

    At least 79 percent of respondents believe that the UK government "badly" handled advanced (A)-level and General Certificate of Secondary Education (GSCE) results this year, a Daily Mail poll has revealed.

    The survey also indicated that getting pupils back into class full time in September should be the top priority for ministers.

    Most respondents said that they are even willing to see pubs and shops shut or social gatherings banned if that could add to resuming proper schooling.

    Additionally, the poll singled out about 59 percent of those who said that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson should return from holiday to address an exams fiasco over A-level and GSCE results.

    An A level student holds a placard during a protest opposite Downing Street, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, August 16, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo
    © REUTERS / Henry Nicholls
    An A level student holds a placard during a protest opposite Downing Street, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, August 16, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo

    More than half of the respondents called for Education Secretary Gavin Williamson's resignation over the exam chaos, while 52 percent of them insisted that he is "unfit" to lead efforts aimed at reopening schools in September.

    Ofqual Chief Threatens to Resign

    The poll was released as chair of the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) Roger Taylor reportedly threatened to quit this week unless Williamson publicly supported the exams regulator.

    The threat followed Williamson's Department for Education (DfE) being quick to issue a statement stressing that that the DfE has "full confidence in Ofqual and its leadership in their role as independent regulator".

    The statement came after Ofqual on Monday announced that A-level and GCSE students in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland would get the exam grades predicted by their teachers instead of those awarded by a controversial algorithm that had sparked the grading fiasco.

    Johnson, for his part, faced flak from colleagues after he was forced to make a U-turn over the A-level grading system that led to UK students seeing their grades slip lower from what their teachers had predicted, upending their hopes of entering the universities of their choice.

    The British PM has not yet publicly apologised to students and parents over the exams fiasco.

    In a separate development, Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has said he is considering legal action against the government over the A-level results scandal, calling the reduction of students grades the "single biggest act of levelling down this country has ever seen".

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    students, resignation, poll, Gavin Williamson, Boris Johnson, Britain
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