Education Secretary James Cleverly Says His A-Level Results Were 'Awful'

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James Cleverly (Photo: BBC Breakfast)
James Cleverly (Photo: BBC Breakfast)

James Cleverly (Photo: BBC Breakfast)

The new education secretary has confessed his A-Level results were “awful” and said he regretted “messing” them up.

James Cleverly said he just “stopped working” and his exam results reflected the effort he had put in.

However, he insisted he could still remember his results, in stark contrast to his predecessor Gavin Williamson who said he had “forgotten”.

Cleverly, who is the sixth education secretary in five years, made the comments as hundreds of thousands of pupils receive their A-level results on Thursday.

Asked how results day was for him, the secretary of state replied: “Awful, genuinely, awful. I was accepted into the British Army when I was at school in my sixth form years and I stopped working.

“I didn’t get into trouble, I didn’t misbehave. I just didn’t do any work and my exam results reflected quite accurately the amount of effort I had put in.

“My military career was then cut short and I really regretted messing up my A-Levels. But I got to university I got into politics, I’m now secretary of state for education.

“So I managed to kind of get back on the horse as it were, but don’t ask me what my results were. I do remember but I’m not going to tell you. They were awful. I’m not going to tell you.”

Grades this year are expected to be lower than during the pandemic but higher than 2019.

Students are expected to face tough competition for university places, with institutions being more conservative in their offers this year.

Admissions service Ucas said it expects record or near-record numbers of students to get onto their first-choice courses, but warned the process will not be “pain-free” for all.

This year’s grades aim to reflect a midway point between 2021 - when pupils were assessed by their teachers because of the pandemic - and 2019.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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