A high school called the calculated A-level grades a “disappointment” as 39 per cent of predicted grades across the country were downgraded.

St Michael’s Catholic High School in Garston says a significant number of A-level students had their grades downgraded by exam boards.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, A-level students were set to receive their predicted grades.

But exam boards downgraded nearly two in five (39.1 per cent) pupils’ grades in England, according to data from Ofqual – which amounts to around 280,000 entries being adjusted down after moderation.

Headteacher Edward Conway said: “I really feel for those students who have worked so hard and deserved the grades submitted by their teachers.

“They and their families and our teachers will be bitterly disappointed. The Centre Assessed Grades were based on relevant and robust data including current levels of performance, previous exams taken and coursework that had already been completed and assessed.

“It has been a difficult, challenging and hugely disruptive year for all students, but not to be awarded the grades they deserve is unfair and unjust.

“We will have students who now have their university places in jeopardy through no fault of their own but by a process that has failed them.

“I hope that the Government, Ofqual and the Exam Boards will ensure a fair review process for individual students so that just, fair and deserved grades are awarded to students who have earned them.”

Teachers were told to submit the grades they thought each student would have received if they had sat the papers, alongside a rank order of students, after exams were cancelled amid the pandemic.

In England, a total of 35.6 per cent of grades were adjusted down by one grade, 3.3 per cent were brought down by two grades and 0.2 per cent came down by three grades, figures from Ofqual show.

But overall, the proportion of entries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland awarded the top A* grade this year has surged to 9 per cent – the highest proportion since the top grade was first introduced in 2010.