2020 has been an unprecedented year for school students, particularly those in post-16 education working towards A-Levels, International and BTEC Diplomas.
The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, made a last minute announcement the day before A-Level results day, that schools would be able to “appeal to receive a valid mock results, or sit autumn exams to ensure the achievements of young people are recognised”.
As the results emerged today (Thursday), it was clear that many headteachers were unhappy about the system for grading students.
Waldron: “Results make a mockery of Gavin Williamson’s claims”
Mark Waldron MA (Cantab), Head Master for Ryde School said,
“The results overall make a mockery of Gavin Williamson’s claims that there will be fairness for all students this year.
“We took great care, as we always do, to predict results that reflected the mock exams, previous results and the attitude to work of our students, yet many of the grades at A Level have been arbitrarily moved down and in particular subjects only.
“So whilst our results in subjects such as English, Music and Design Technology are largely as expected, the results in Science and Geography are lower compared to both expectations and previous years.
Waldron: “Williamson deserves to be downgraded”
He went on to say,
“Our students worked very hard and deserved better than this; our mock exams in February showed what they could achieve.
“They have been let down by an Education Secretary who has presided over results that are neither fair nor comprehensive. If anyone deserves to be downgraded today it is him.”
Ward: Rapid upward trajectory ignored by statistical algorithm
Nora Ward, Head of School at Christ the King College said,
“A significant number of students have had the teacher assessment grades downgraded as a result of a statistical algorithm, some by as many as three grades.
“Christ the King Sixth Form results were on a rapid upward trajectory and this appears to have been ignored.
“It is a pity that for some, today should have been a day of celebration and has been marred by future uncertainty and a system that has clearly disadvantaged some children.”
Image: © Gavin Williamson