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Ofqual’s U-Turn on guidance showing that students who appeal on the basis of a valid mock exam may not receive their mock grade

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary

On Saturday 15th August @Ofqual published guidance on the use of mock exams in appealing A Level results.

In this guidance, Ofqual said that, in the case of a successful appeal based on mock exams, where the centre assessed grade is lower than the mock exam result, students will instead receive the centre assessed grade. 
“Successful appeals on this ground will allow the student to receive the mock grade. Mock exams and non-exam assessments do not normally cover the full range of content. Centre assessment grades took into account the student’s performance across the whole course. In circumstances where the centre assessment grade was lower than the mock grade, the student will receive the centre assessment grade.”

Gavin Williamson previously committed to a triple lock in A Level results. The Department for Education said that “Students could receive the higher result out of their calculated grade, valid mock grade, or autumn exam grade to bolster fairness. 

Ofqual’s guidance appeared to suggest that this is not the case. If a student appeals successfully on the basis of a mock result that is higher than their calculated grade, but their centre assessed grade is lower than their mock result, they will not receive the mock result.

Later Ofqual took down the guidance, only published earlier that afternoon, on how A-Level grades could be appealed.

Their new statement simply read: 

“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.”

Schools Minister Nick Gibb MP wrote to school leaders yesterday outlining the appeals system that has now been suspended by Ofqual. School leaders now only have advice from Ministers on an appeals process that is no longer in operation.

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said:

“Gavin Williamson promised to give students a triple lock, but instead he left many devastated by unfair exam results, and now his commitment to give them another chance is rapidly unravelling.

“Having promised that students will be able to use a valid mock result, the reality is that many will not receive these grades even if they represent a student’s best result. The latest chaos is the inevitable consequence of this government’s shambolic approach to exams, which saw solutions dreamt up on the back of a cigarette packet and announced barely a day before young people received their results. 

“This is simply not good enough for young people and their families. Ministers have had months to plan for this and now have a matter of days to take action to ensure that young people are not robbed of their future. Families across the country will be rapidly losing faith that the government is committed to putting things right.”

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, responding to Ofqual taking down their guidance on A-Level appeals only hours after it was published, said:

“The Tories’ results fiasco is turning from tragedy to farce, and the chaos and incompetence is completely unacceptable when so many students and families have been devastated by it.

“A credible appeals system should have been the Government’s first priority, but three days later there is absolutely no clarity on how young people can challenge their unfair grades.

“Parents and young people needed action in a matter of days, but the Government are now rapidly running out of time. The Prime Minister must get a grip and sort this out.”

Emma Hardy 100x100Emma Hardy MP, Labour’s Shadow Universities Minister, said:

“This chaos cannot continue. Even Tory ministers know that they are presiding over a historic injustice that risks robbing a generation of their future.

“Boris Johnson needs to listen to parents, teachers and young people – and change course.”

Labour calls for the Government to use centre assessed grades for GCSEs and A-levels to end exams fiasco

Labour has today (17 Aug) demanded the government allow pupils to use their centre assessed grades (“CAGs”), the grades that were predicted for them by their teachers, for GCSE and A-level results this year, to bring the exams fiasco to an end.

The call comes ahead of a Government announcement that is expected to be made later today.

With only days to go until schools receive GCSE results for hundreds of thousands of young people, and concerns being repeatedly raised by school leaders and Conservative MPs, the Government have still not announced a plan to ensure that the A-levels fiasco is not repeated.

Labour first called for the Government to use CAGs for A-level once the chaos surrounding results became clear last Thursday. Days later, the Government have still not given any indication to young people that they will change their approach.

The process was plunged into further chaos over the weekend, as Ofqual published new guidance on appealing A-level grades, only to remove it a matter of hours later.

School leaders have warned that relying on a complex and bureaucratic appeals system to address problems in the system could interfere with the full reopening of schools in September. Labour have said that allowing young people to use their predicted will avoid this outcome, and ensure pupils are safely back in school in September.  

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, commenting, said:

“The injustice and chaos surrounding A-level and GCSE results must come to an end.

“We gave the Government days, not weeks, to end the crisis but they have still failed to take action.  

“Enough is enough. The Government have failed young people and their families on A Levels and are threatening to do the same with GCSEs. The Government must now allow young people to use the grades their teachers predicted at both A-level and GCSE.

Labour has demanded that Boris Johnson “takes personal responsibility” for fixing the exams fiasco after weeks of “chaos, confusion and incompetence” from the UK Government.

Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, has accused the Prime Minister of “watching from the sidelines while a generation of young people are being robbed of their future.”

She called on Boris Johnson to take personal responsibility for the crisis and to hold a press conference in the next 24 hours to explain to parents, teachers and young people “how he will end this historic injustice.”

Number 10 has previously said that the daily press conferences would only take place if the Government had something “really important to say.”

Labour is warning the UK Government that it must act now to prevent a repeat of the results fiasco affecting GCSE pupils, with results expected this Thursday. Labour has called for an urgent review of the standardisation process to ensure GCSE students do not lose out unfairly.

angela rayner thumbnailAngela Rayner MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“Gavin Williamson’s handling of this year’s exam results has been a complete and utter fiasco. We have had weeks of chaos, confusion and incompetence.

“And yet, Boris Johnson has been nowhere to be seen. He has been watching from the sidelines while a generation of young people are being robbed of their future.

“We cannot have another week like this. The Prime Minister must now take personal responsibility for this crisis by addressing the country in the next 24 hours to explain precisely how he will end this historic injustice.

“No student should be worse off because of government failure. What we need is a return to teacher assessments for this year’s A-Level results and urgent action to avoid a repeat of the same injustice affecting hundreds of thousands of GCSE students this week.”

Keir Starmer, Leader of the @UKLabour Party, responding to the Government’s U-turn on exams, said:

“The Government has had months to sort out exams and has now been forced into a screeching U-turn after days of confusion. 

“This is a victory for the thousands of young people who have powerfully made their voices heard this past week.

“However, the Tories’ handling of this situation has been a complete fiasco. 

“Incompetence has become this Government’s watchword, whether that is on schools, testing or care homes. 

“Boris Johnson’s failure to lead is holding Britain back.”

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