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.”