Newspaper Round Up: 13th of August 2020

2020-08-13109
Daily Express
The Daily Express claims a front page exclusive as it leads on a vow by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to "put the foot on the accelerator" to drive economic recovery after the UK sank into the deepest recession on record.
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail's lead story says Education Secretary Gavin Williamson was forced to give a "humiliating" apology to students awaiting their A-level results as fears over "chaos" in the appeals process grow. The paper carries warnings that the appeals system will be "overwhelmed" by large numbers of pupils asking to change their grades which could throw the university admissions process "into paralysis" with just weeks to go before the new term starts.
Times
The Times takes a more positive tone with the news that universities say they will "soften" their normal entry grades in light of exams being halted by the pandemic. The paper says the move has "thrown a lifeline" to more than 100,000 pupils who will have their A-level results downgraded by regulators. Also on its front page, the paper reports that the UK has seen its longest stretch of temperatures above 34C since the 1960s, as Britons have been kept awake by a run of "tropical nights" - when temperatures remain above 20C.
Guardian
The Guardian's lead on A-level results claims that No 10 is bracing itself for a "backlash" and fears a replay of the protests seen in Scotland last week after nearly 125,000 students' results were downgraded during moderation. The paper says headteachers across England have "expressed despair" at the human cost of the calculated grades system, with one in the north-east saying 26 out of 39 students at their school had their results downgraded compared with teacher assessments. The front page also carries an aerial photograph of the train derailment in Aberdeenshire.
Daily Telegraph
"Boosting exam grades 'would harm Generation Covid for life'" is the warning by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who has ruled out following Scotland's lead in allowing students to be awarded grades predicted by their teachers. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he warns that using teachers' predicted grades risks devaluing students' exam results and harming their future career prospects. A-level students in England will on Thursday be given calculated grades after exams were cancelled due to the pandemic; but in a last-minute change, will be allowed to appeal against their marks on the basis of mock exam results. The front page also features a devastating aerial picture from the scene of the train derailment near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, in which three people died.
Financial Times
The Financial Times reports on official figures that show Britain has collapsed into its largest recession on record after the coronavirus lockdown caused a 20.4% contraction between April and June. The UK economy suffered a bigger slump than any other major European economy in the second quarter, with Labour claiming the government's handling of the pandemic had contributed to "the worst recession in Europe". But there is reason to be hopeful, according to one expert quoted by the paper, who said although the quarterly numbers were bleak, figures from June - which showed output grew by 8.7% - suggested there was a "strong bounce in activity as the economy emerged from lockdown".