Harrogate MP welcomes change of policy over A level marking

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones has welcomed a statement from OFQUAL – the exams regulator - that A-level and GCSE students in England will be given grades estimated by their teachers, rather than by an algorithm.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 6:02 pm
Harrogate ande Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones - "I am pleased that the Secretary of State has decided to end the discussion by ruling that the grades awarded by the teacher will stand."

The statement made earlier today came after growing anger over last week's A level results in England which were released based on applying an algorithm to the estimated grades made by teachers.

Both Ofqual chair Roger Taylor and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson have apologised for the "distress" caused.

Mr Williamson said students and parents had been affected by "significant inconsistencies" with the grading process.

Following the announcement the grade awarded by teachers will be the grade the students are now awarded.

Welcoming the change of heart, Mr Jones said: “It was always going to be an enormous challenge to award grades after the disruption caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

"I was always sceptical about the application of an algorithm to standardise result.

“I think that is an approach that was certain to accentuate differences rather than increase fairness and robustness to the figures. This was shown in Scotland.

“That is why the Government tried to construct a different solution – the so-called triple lock. This meant that a student could choose the highest of the grade they were awarded, their mock result or the mark from a re-sit in October.

“However when you see such large discrepancies in, admittedly, a small number of results it was clear that a re-think was required.

"I am pleased therefore that the Secretary of State has decided to end the discussion by ruling that the grades awarded by the teacher will stand.

"This is also the case for GCSE results due this Thursday.

“I am sorry for the distress and uncertainty this has caused pupils. In all about 20 students contacted me personally and I am writing to each of them.”

OFQUAL made the announcement that teacher-assessed grades would be used earlier today.