Boris Johnson has blamed this summer’s exam chaos on a “mutant algorithm” as he sent out a message to children that it is safe for them to return to school.
In a live address to England’s schoolchildren on social media, appeared to try to shrug off responsibility for the “stressful” experience of thousands of teenagers initially awarded grades well below predictions.
The prime minister’s five-minute address to a group of Year 11 students in a school library appeared designed to reassure young people and their parents on the safety of schools, a day after his dramatic U-turn on the use of face-coverings.
But he could not resist taking a swipe at the BBC over the Last Night at the Proms row, telling the 15 and 16 year-olds that their teachers would be able to provide them with answers to questions like: “Is it politically appropriate to sing Rule Britannia? Yes.”
Mr Johnson thanked the children – who were socially distanced around large tables but not wearing masks – for their part in bringing coronavirus “under control”.
Telling them he recognised they had missed out on a lot during 159 days of lockdown, he said: “You couldn’t sit your exams, which you yearn to do.
“And I’m afraid your grades were almost derailed by a mutant algorithm. And I know how how stressful that must have been for pupils up and down the country, and I’m very, very glad that it’s finally been been sorted out.”