Layla Moran

@LaylaMoran writes to @GavinWilliamson to encourage universities to "exercise leniency" for 2020 admissions

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to issue guidance encouraging universities to "exercise leniency" in admitting students with lower-than-predicted grades, in the wake of concerns about how grades will be awarded this year. 

Describing plans to prevent students appealing their grades as "completely unacceptable", Layla Moran, the party's Education spokesperson, has written to the Education Secretary calling for him to ensure: 

  1. Students will have the chance to appeal their grades for free, as well as providing free advice on the appeals process;
  2. Guidance is issued about how students can safely re-take assessments in the Autumn;
  3. Guidance is issued to universities encouraging them to exercise leniency when it comes to admitting students who are awarded lower grades than predicted, especially if they come from a disadvantaged background.

Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said: 

 "A young person's GCSE and A-level grades will impact their education and job opportunities for years to come. It is disgraceful for any young person to have their grades lowered unfairly.

"Guidance published today which suggests individual students won't be able to appeal their grades directly with Ofqual is a travesty. Government must step in immediately and confirm that pupils will be able to appeal their grades free of charge.

"The Government should also give clear guidance to universities, encouraging them to exercise leniency when it comes to entry requirements, given the chaos cuased by COVID-19. Without this, I am really worried that that inequality in access to higher education will become even more stark as a result of this crisis"

See below for the full text of Layla Moran's letter to the Education Secretary:

Dear Gavin,

I hope this finds you well.

I write following the deeply worrying reports about the SQA downgrading Scottish student’s exam results. I would be grateful if you would set out the measures you will be taking to prevent similar problems for pupils in the rest of the UK.

While the announcement from Ofqual today, that schools can appeal downgrading in certain exceptional circumstances may reassure a limited number of pupils, it does not get to the heart of the matter.  

Individual pupils who think their grade is an unfair reflection of their academic performance must be given every opportunity to appeal this. It is completely unacceptable for any young person to receive unfair grades this year – particularly if this is based on nothing more than their family income, as is thought to have been the case in Scotland.

Ahead of A-Level and GCSE result days I urge you to put in place the following measures:  

  1. Allowing students to appeal their grades for free (as has already been confirmed in Scotland) as well as providing free advice on the appeals process
  2. Putting in place guidance for how students can safely re-take assessments in the Autumn, at no cost to the pupil
  3. Issuing guidance to universities encouraging them to exercise leniency when it comes to admitting students who are awarded lower grades than predicted, especially if they come from a disadvantaged background.

Of course, I hope we will not see a repeat of the distressing reports from Scotland last week, which will have no doubt caused a lot of anxiety to pupils across the country. None the less, we must be prepared for this, given the extremely difficult and unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in.

I look forward to your response.

Layla Moran MP
Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 20 hours 56 minutes ago

Edge Future Learning - Making education relevant...

Building on our work with Edge Future Learning Leaders and Partners around the world, our model includes three key principles that help bring...

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page