OnTheWight always welcomes a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.
Nick Stuart shares this open letter to Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely – copied also to education ministers Gavin Williamson and Nick Gibb. Ed
I’m making this letter public as this is the second time I’ve written to you about my teenager’s results. It’s a shame that you have not been able to reply to my original concise letter.
The disaster for our children is obvious. Please tell your Ministerial Colleagues forcefully to recognise the hardship of their flawed decisions and accept that this year is unprecedented. Accept that the only people who actually know these students are the schools. Insist Ministers make a decision to help A Level students, and then change the GCSE system immediately before the larger chaos of GCSE results arrives this week.
Made up grades
My teenager has been marked down on all three of their exams with made up grades. In addition an Extended Project Qualification completed and marked in 2019 has been downgraded from A* to A.
I am aware from talking to the school and former teacher colleagues that most local schools put a lot of internal and external moderation in place to produce Centre Assessed Grades grades.
However the model used by Ofqual is fundamentally flawed being inconsistent and statistically invalid.
Under the political control of the Minister Ofqual used a secretive approach while refusing expert advice with the consequence that they have ignored personal school assessments for most of those exams.
Large scale downgrading for state schools
The clear unfairness against state schools and less advantaged students is seen in the larger increase in A grades for private schools and a larger downgrading for state schools.
If you want better figures look to the Telegraph!
Nonsense words from Williamson
The soothing words of the Secretary of State for Education are nonsense when you look at each of his plans.
The very rapid and flawed decision to choose mock grades which were not designed to be used in this way and in many schools were deliberately hard before the students had even finished courses.
Autumn exams proposed provide state and schools with no chance to help pupils who have been out of school for six months. While many private schools have the resources to hothouse their students in the two months available.
The Appeals process is in complete disarray and appears to have been designed to stop individual students appealing and put off schools with cost and bureaucracy. Changes are appearing by the day adding to confusion of schools while poor Officials have to deal with Ministers twisting and turning in the wind.
Dreams crushed by incompetence
Teenagers expecting to go to University now have to give up hopes of planned courses or even delay entry for a year. Dreams have been crushed, not by the pandemic but by incompetence.
You will be aware of the unfairness and understand the problems from this pandemic but that is no reason to make things worse by poor decisions and an unwillingness to change your mind when the flaws are so clear.
Politics be damned, do the right thing for our children and make sure your Ministers do the same.