Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.


Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.


Number of pupils getting top GCSE grades to remain the same, says Education Secretary

Damian Hinds reassured parents that despite the introduction of tougher exams, parents will not find their children disadvantaged in any way

On Thursday, around 590,000 pupils will travel to their schools to collect their GCSE results.

They will be the first year group to take the new GCSEs in a variety of subjects—which is created by former Education Secretary Michael Gove as part of an attempt to inject rigor into the qualifications and bring the UK in line with the top-performing countries in the Far East.

A lot of courses have had elements of the coursework reduced or removed altogether in favour of exams, and the curriculum has been beefed up to include a broader range of topics.

However, grading overall  will be especially lenient to compensate for the fact that exams are harder. The exams watchdog will likely lower grade boundaries to ensure that roughly the same proportion of students get top grades as during previous years.

Hinds, writing in the Daily Telegraph stated: “This year’s results will be fair to the young people who worked hard for their exams.” 

 “To make sure that pupils who take the new GCSEs are not at a disadvantage when compared to those who went before, the independent qualifications regulator Of equal uses a statistical method called ‘comparable outcomes’.” He further wrote.

“This ensures that broadly the same proportion of pupils will pass, and reach the equivalent of an A grade as in previous years, assuming the ability profile of the pupils is the same.” He concluded.

The same “comparable outcomes” system is in place for A-levels, and last week it emerged that even if students get almost half of the questions wrong, they can still get an A.

Only  55% was enough to achieve an A grade in the new OCR Advanced Biology A-level, while 59% secures an A in Biology.  

This comes after it emerged earlier this week, that pupils who failed the new tougher science GCSE exams were handed a free pass by the watchdog, who moved the boundaries.

-GBO Correspondent

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