Hundreds of thousands of students will receive their A-level and vocational qualifications today, as the fallout continues over how they are to be graded.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said on Wednesday that he wouldn’t apologise for the last-minute change to the system in England.

Gavin Williamson said students would benefit by being allowed to use their best results from mock exams, or a moderated system or by taking exams in October.

“I won’t apologise for the fact we want to make these changes because we do think they’ll benefit young people,” he said.

Mr Williamson defended the last-minute decision, made after Scotland was forced to scrap moderated grades after the downgrading of more than 124,000 results was reversed.

He said the government was confident they could deal with any appeals and said it was important they were dealt with swiftly to ensure any new grades were given in time to get into university.

“What’s so important is I do everything I can to ensure we have as fair a system as possible for every student and making sure that if we have to go that extra mile, as we have here, to give youngsters the best opportunity in life and make sure they get the grades they’ve been working towards and aspiring to,” he added.

“We think we’ve got the balance of the system absolutely right. We want to get this right for young people.

“We recognise during a global pandemic we’re having to do lots of things in a very different and unusual way, this is why we’re taking a different approach, a more generous approach in terms of the appeals process.

“These actions are about making sure young people succeed.”

With exams unable to take place due to the coronavirus lockdown, 250,000 students will receive results on Thursday based on predictions set by teachers.