HOUSING and local government minister Julie James has today said she is confident Wales A-level students will get the results they deserve.

Thousands of students in Wales, as well as England and Northern Ireland will receive their A-level and GCSE results this month after exams were cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Scotland students have had their results - but the system used to calculate grades prompted widespread criticism after more than 125,000 entries were downgraded.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has apologised over the way grades have been moderated there, and is seeking to address the issue after student protests.

But, speaking at the Welsh Government briefing today (Tuesday, August 11), Ms James said she was "really happy to reassure every learner in Wales that the model here is different (to that in Scotland)".

Ms James said the system in Wales has been approved by the body Qualifications Wales.

The Leader:

Julie James MS

Unlike in Scotland, it will involve AS Level results counting for 40 per cent of a student's overall A-level result.

Ms James said it is "vital" that learners in Wales "get the results they deserve".

And she added: "I do not expect what has happened in Scotland to happen here."

Ms James said schools could appeal results but, on the issue of whether or not the Welsh Government would make student appeals over grades free, Ms James was non-committal, saying that results are not out until Thursday.

Students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive their results on the usual dates in August - even though exams were cancelled.

A-level and AS level results day is Thursday, August 13 and GCSE results day is Thursday, August 20.

Students should check with their school or college whether they are still required to pick up their results in person in the morning, or whether they will be sent out by email or post instead.

Clare Marchant, head of Ucas, has said it is a "good year" for prospective students in Britain who want to attend university because institutions will be competing to fill their courses at a time of uncertainty.

The "fragile" situation, where the number of overseas students could fall amid Covid-19, alongside the fact there are fewer 18-year-olds in the population, plays to UK "students' strengths", she said.

Ministers have urged universities to be "flexible" and take into account a range of evidence when choosing which students to admit on A-level results day.

Universities minister Michelle Donelan has told institutions to hold places for students challenging grades until they receive the outcome of their appeal.

The Ucas deadline - for applicants to meet their academic offer conditions - is September 7, which leaves exam boards less than four weeks to issue outcomes of appeals.

During todays conference, Ms James said that measures were being taken on a local level to make sure children are able to catch up after lockdown.

She said catch up sessions will be available for students entering sixth form who may have fallen behind in English and maths during lockdown.

She added that the Welsh Government have been working with local authorities to make sure they are staying in contact with vulnerable children and families who may not have attended school during lockdown, says minister.

She said she expected that schools in Wales will slowly "ramp back up to full speed".