In the summer of 2020 GCSE and A-Level students lost trust in the grade awarding process when they didn’t sit exams. Policy makers put algorithmic decision making at the centre of the system designed to protect comparable outcomes. The Prime Minister publicly blamed a mutant algorithm, students protested in Westminister, and two Ofqual executives stepped down. It exposed the system workings in ways that were previously not understood. It damaged trust in public sector processes. That loss of trust needs restored in the 2021 pandemic special circumstances without the standard exams process, additional support is required by centres and candidates, and legal obligations on adta transparency need met, for all future years regardless of whether candidates sit exams or not.