MP and Staveley headteacher speak of disappointment after students’ A-level results downgraded

The headteacher of Netherthorpe School has said he is ‘disappointed’ that a number of students’ A-level grades have been downgraded.

By Michael Broomhead
Thursday, 13th August 2020, 2:08 pm

In England, 36 per cent of entries had a lower grade than teachers predicted and three per cent were down two grades – in results for exams cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dave Williams, headteacher of Netherthorpe School, said: “After all of the hard work by the students, we are disappointed that the grades awarded to a number of our students have been downgraded by in some cases two grades against their centre assessed grade.

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Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

“The issue for the school is that we do not have a reason why this has happened and therefore we are unable to fully explain the reasons to our students.”

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins added: “I’m thinking of all the Chesterfield A-level students who are getting their results and particularly those who are being downgraded on a whim by the Government.

“Young people deserve so much better than this.”

The proportion of A-level entries awarded an A grade or higher has risen to an all-time high, with 27.9 per cent securing the top grades this year, figures for England, Wales and Northern Ireland show.

But exam boards downgraded nearly two in five (39.1 per cent) pupils’ grades in England, according to data from Ofqual – which amounts to around 280,000 entries being adjusted down after moderation.

Teachers were told to submit the grades they thought each student would have received if they had sat the papers, alongside a rank order of students, after exams were cancelled amid the pandemic.

Exam boards said they moderated these grades to ensure this year’s results were not significantly higher than previously and the value of students’ grades were not undermined.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said the ‘majority of young people will have received a calculated grade that enables them to progress to the destination they deserve, with the added safety net of being able to appeal on the basis of their mock results, as well as the chance of sitting autumn exams’.

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