APPEALS can now be made where there is evidence that students' grades were lower than those predicted by schools or colleges, Education Minister Kirsty Williams has said.

The announcement comes after 42 per cent of Welsh students' A-level grades were downgraded from teachers' predictions - leaving many in limbo with university places withdraw or now uncertain just weeks before the deadline to secure places.

On Saturday afternoon, the Minister said: "Earlier this week I directed Qualifications Wales to broaden the grounds for appeal for A levels, AS, Skills Challenge Certificate and GCSEs.

"Today, they have now confirmed what this means for students. I accept that learners wanted and needed more clarity, and I believe this achieves that.

“Qualification Wales and the WJEC will share the full details, but appeals can now be made where there is evidence of internal assessments that has been judged by the school or college to be at a higher grade than the grade they have been awarded.

“There is a guarantee that no-one will receive a lower grade after appeal and all appeals are free.”

The Leader reported yesterday on the concerns of the Federation of North Wales Secondary School Head Teachers, a spokesman for which said: "There are huge disparities in the outcomes of individuals which we cannot track, justify or explain.

"Pupils’ grades have moved up and down in ways we do not understand."