Government u-turn will award original A-Level grades - The Worcester Observer

Government u-turn will award original A-Level grades

Worcester Editorial 17th Aug, 2020   0

A-LEVEL and GCSE students in Worcester will be given grades estimated by their teachers, rather than by an algorithm, after a humiliating government U-turn.

It follows the uproar after about 40 per cent of A-level results were downgraded by exams regulator Ofqual, which used a formula based on schools’ prior grades.

The Government confirmed the controversial formula would be scrapped ahead of the publication of GCSE results on Thursday (August 20).

Headteachers across the city joined national criticism of the formula with Ed Senior, head of Worcester Sixth Form College, blasting the algorithm for ‘unfairly reducing’ his students grades.

In a statement, Ofqual chairman Roger Taylor said: “We understand this has been a distressing time for students, who were awarded exam results last week for exams they never took. The pandemic has created circumstances no one could have ever imagined or wished for.

“We want to now take steps to remove as much stress and uncertainty for young people as possible – and to free up heads and teachers to work towards the important task of getting all schools open in two weeks.”

Under pressure Education Secretary Gavin Williamson apologised for the distress caused by the furore and hoped the move would create certainty for students across England.

County education chiefs welcomed the announcement to cap a school year full of change for Worcestershire students.

Coun Marcus Hart, cabinet member for Education and Skills, said: “This announcement provides clarity and fairness for our students and teachers who have been anxiously waiting to hear about exam results during the summer break.

“It provides a much-needed sense of certainty for students during an academic year which has brought challenges like no other.

“This school year has seen lots of changes due to this unprecedented pandemic but one thing that will not change is the support given to our students once they receive their results as they take their next steps on the career ladder.

Teachers’ estimates will be awarded to students now unless the computer algorithm gave a higher grade.

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