Isle of Wight children ‘to be marked down by callous Government’ say Island Labour

The Chair of Island Labour says the Government have “prioritised failure, for fear of allowing too many of what they see as ‘undeserving’ children from the wrong areas to be awarded higher grades based on their teacher predictions”

Examination desks

This in from Julian on behalf of Island Labour, in his own words. Ed

As the Isle of Wight’s schoolchildren prepare to receive their A-Level and GCSE grades, parents should be aware that in up to four in ten cases, the grade will not be that predicted by their teachers.

The Covid-19 crisis left students unable to sit exams. Teachers were asked to provide predicted grades.

Government took different approach
However, the Government took the decision not to base grades awarded on those predicted grades, but instead to use a statistical exercise based on where the students live, and the historical results of other children in previous years at their school.

In other words, our children’s results will depend on what other children in previous years achieved, and not on the outcomes predicted by the teachers who actually know them and have seen their work.

Scottish Government apologise
In Scotland, the Scottish Government have been forced to apologise for using the same system, resulting in great injustices, as children from poorer areas have seen their predicted grades slashed, in many cases from a ‘pass’ to a ‘fail’.

In England, we already know that 39% of all predicted A-level grades are being reduced by the Government.

Island children will be among those hit hardest
Isle of Wight children will be amongst those hit hardest by this ridiculous and callous decision.

We have seen in Scotland that children in less affluent areas with schools with historically lower results are those most affected. The Isle of Wight shares those characteristics.

Many will see predicted grades reduced
No matter how hard our children have worked, or how confident their teachers were of their outcomes, many will see their predicted grades reduced, based not on their own efforts, but on the previous exam history of other children in the school, and on the fact that they live on the Isle of Wight.

Critchley: Government decided to kick them when they’re down
Island Labour Chair, Julian Critchley, said,

“Our children have already suffered the disruption to their education of a pandemic. Now the Government has decided to kick them when they’re down. Rather than award grades based on the predictions of the teachers who know them best, the Government has chosen to ignore those predictions and base the grades on a formula based on where they live, and the results of previous cohorts in their schools.

“That’s an outrage.”

He went on to say,

“These grades can make a big difference to a student’s future life. They determine which FE courses a student can access after school. They decide which university an A-level student will be able to attend. In the midst of a pandemic, one would have thought that the Government would have been able to acknowledge the disruption already caused to our children’s lives, and actually accepted the predictions from teachers which would at least be based on knowledge of the students themselves.

“Instead, they have rejected those predictions in order to preserve what they see as a vital quota of failure.”

Critchley: “It’s needlessly, heartlessly cruel”
Mr Critchley finished by saying,

“I can’t begin to understand a mindset whose top priority in trying to deal with the fallout of the pandemic is to ensure that ‘enough’ children are seen to fail. I just can’t imagine how they justify to themselves abandoning any sense of natural justice in order to close off more children’s life options.

“They have prioritised failure, for fear of allowing too many of what they see as ‘undeserving’ children from the wrong areas to be awarded higher grades based on their teacher predictions. It’s beyond me. It’s needlessly, heartlessly cruel.”

Image: comedynose under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 11th August, 2020 9:44am



Filed under: Education, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

6 Comments on "Isle of Wight children ‘to be marked down by callous Government’ say Island Labour"

newest oldest most voted
So it’s not enough that this years Island school children awaiting their A Level results were the same group who had 2 years of major disruption to their education by the disastrous change from a 3 tier system to a 2 tier system, the same school children who have suffered as GCSE grades were ‘overhauled’ by the government. They same children who were at risk of their… Read more »
The problem is two-fold. Firstly, the Government does not trust teachers’ assessment – they rather trust a statistical algorithm. Secondly, the algorithm used is unfair at the best of times. A good year group will be marked down if it follows year groups that are academically weaker, and vice versa, a weak year group will benefit from previous better results. This type of system is a farce… Read more »

You’ve got to deliver for the customer, so who on Earth is surprised that under the Conservatives those parents who pay for their children’s education in schools that cram performance will receive higher grades than those who attend state schools that have being historically continually underfunded


Market forces, and reward for the privileged. Others don’t matter. Welcome to Tory Britain.

Maybe this method of awarding grades wasn’t the best idea. The pandemic has thrown up all sorts of challenges for everyone to overcome. Me, I would have written off this year for education, scrapped all awarded grades and started again next year. Then the students would be able have additional time to complete their course studies and safely prepare to sit their exams next year. The headlong… Read more »
Angela Hewitt
Why couldn’t they do an on line exam. Computers either at home or a few at a time in school. Students prepare as if doing an official exam. Everything is time limited. A fixed specific time to read the questions. A specific time limit to answer each question. No option to alter answers and must submit answer whether completed or not within a time limit. Not allowed… Read more »