This afternoon it has been announced that A-level and GCSE students in England will be given grades estimated by their teachers.
Teachers’ assessments should be used to determine the GCSE grades that will be published later this week according to Hastings MP Sally-Ann Hart and she has also called for clear and robust appeals processes to be put in place.
Mrs Hart said this morning: “The results for A Levels last week have produced frustration, anger, upset and confusion to many students, parents and teachers across Hastings and Rye. I can completely understand that frustration – I too am frustrated for the students of our area who deserve better.
“That is why I am today asking the Secretary of State for Education to use Teacher Assessments for the 2020 cohort of students who have been studying A-Levels and GCSEs.
‘The inequalities that exist in our town are well documented and deep rooted…’
“Ofqual issued guidance on the appeals process using mock exam results, but then withdrew it. It is now reviewing its guidance on how to appeal against A-level and GCSE grades. Many students are in limbo as to what to do with the appeals process.
“I am concerned that the same levels of frustration and confusion will be felt later this week when we see the results for GCSEs produced as well.
Mrs Hart’s move even drew praise from her one-time political rival, Liberal Democrat Nick Perry who said: “For once our MP is speaking with common sense and empathy. Our young people deserve for the Tories to own this mess, and put it right.”
Mrs Hart continued: “We have lived through an extraordinary time since February this year… we need to work with schools, colleges and universities to ensure that the 2020 cohort of students receiving their results at the moment are not disadvantaged… Their education and future job prospects should not be impacted.
“I will continue to lobby the Government to do the right thing now; if the OFQUAL algorithm and appeals process is not fit for purpose, we should instead opt for Teacher Assessments as the measure for results this year. Moreover, I want to see clear and robust appeals processes in place in time for the publication of the GCSE results and I would also urge the Government to consider delaying the publication of GCSE results if a system isn’t in place in time.”
On behalf of Hasting and Rye Labour Party the Deputy Leader of Hastings Borough Council, Councillor Colin Fitzgerald said: “The downgrading of over 40 per cent of grades is a crisis for our young people. It breaches the trust of a generation, draws fault lines between the governed and the government and brings our education system into disrepute. It diminishes the value ascribed by the examination process to the hard work and efforts of students and teachers alike.”
‘…compounded the deep structural inequalities that exist in our society.‘
He says he is concerned the situation will be further inflamed when GCSE results are announced – at the moment scheduled to happen on Thursday – creating what he describes as, “…a further chapter in what has become a shambolic mess: avoidable and regrettably predictable.”
He says the grading system used thus far for A level results has, “…compounded the deep structural inequalities that exist in our society.”
Mr Fitzgerald says: “This is obviously an injustice, it matters, but for a town like Hastings and St Leonards it really matters.
“The inequalities that exist in our town are well documented and deep rooted. Education remains one of the best possible ways for our young people to achieve their potential.
“How then can we honestly say we support our young people, if those of us with power and authority allow an overwhelming injustice to be inflicted upon them, without redress, through no fault of their own?”