UK

A-level Results Row Spirals As Students Hold Exams Regulator to Account Over New Appeals Policy

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, neither A-level nor GCSE students in the UK were able to sit public exams this year, with the exams regulator for England suggesting that teachers grade pupils based on homework assignments, mock exams and recorded pieces of the student’s performance, with assessments subjected to external standardisation processes.

Thousands of students have been left without places at their chosen universities after the UK exams regulator Ofqual revised its policy on exam appeals, and are holding the UK government to account, reported Sky News.
Ofqual released a statement late on Saturday to announce a pending board “revision” of its criteria for students hoping to challenge their A-level grades on the basis of their mock exam results, just hours after it published guidance about its appeals process announced by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

“Earlier today we published information about mock exam results in appeals. This policy is being reviewed by the Ofqual Board and further information will be published in due course,” said Ofqual in a statement.

The New ‘Algorithm’

After the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown forced A-level and GCSE exams to be cancelled, teachers in England were told to grade pupils based on “fair, objective and carefully considered” judgements of the results they believe they would likely have got if tests had been held.

The grading was to be based on homework assignments, mock exams and any other recorded pieces of the student’s performance, with assessments sent on to the exam boards.

Ofqual subsequently issued guidance on how grades would be awarded, stating that the assessments would undergo an external standardisation process.

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