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A quarter of all individual grades submitted by teachers in Scotland are changed.

Discussion in 'Education news' started by MacGuyver, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. MacGuyver

    MacGuyver Occasional commenter

  2. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Criticism is already out there re. the no. Of changed grades but I can’t decide whether it is
    - too many were changed ie lack of confidence in the sqa process
    - Not enough we’re changed (it’s those incompetent/cheating teachers again) Ie theres a lack of confidence in process.

    Wilshaw is on the world at one criticising headteachers eho are saying they wo t compel teachers to work through the holiday and at weekends to teach those who haven’t made progress.
    ( I don’t think Wilshaw realises Scottish schools are back next werk(?) anyway.)

    He hasn’t listened to the data which shows the gap has reduced between socio economic groups.

    Basically, I think, he’s getting his criticism in for England/Wales in advance
    ridleyrumpus likes this.
  3. pair_of_argyles

    pair_of_argyles Occasional commenter

    Just wait until parents start suing schools and/or individual teachers over their offspring's grades.

    In Ireland they've had to publicly indemnify teachers against this sort of action.

    I can hear the no-win no-fee vultures circling already
  4. MacGuyver

    MacGuyver Occasional commenter

    After a huge amount of Union pressure as well.

    “have you been shafted by your GCSE or A-Level results? You might be entitled to compensation.”
  5. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    We already know the figures for England / Wales - 12% of A-level and 9% of GCSE grades will be changed though the percentage up and down has not been released (it will probably be similar to that in Scottish schools)

    Unsurprisingly, teachers are likely to predict best case scenario grades for their students in most cases.

    I don't know how the process worked in Scotland but in England appeals will only be heard if there was an error by the school or if the school was proveably unfair in how students were ranked
  6. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    It would be interesting for comparison purposes to see the relationship between predicted grades for the 2019 series and outcomes. Just maybe the same proportion of geese were swans last year.
  7. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    Here is an example from Scotland.

    My daughter did her Maths Prelim and scored 75% in it and was awarded by the school an A Grade.
    Nationally to get an A in higher maths on average over the last three years you needed to score 65%. Last year was the highest at 67% to get an A pass.

    So my daughter has evidence of enough marks to get an A but she got a B from the exam board.

    Being maths the questions are pretty straightforward to mark. She scored 7 As (out of seven exams sat) last year.

    For those of you lucky enough to not have to deal with the SQA they are the most intransigent organisation I have come across. I have pointed out things that were wrong and had them accepted as wrong, and still they dont change them.
    Catsoup and agathamorse like this.
  8. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    I think there would have been even more of an outcry if the SQA had just gone along with the predicted grades and results had increased by 25%, compared to those who had taken an exam last year.

    I don't know the details of how they calculated grades but I imagine it was based on previous results at the school, without looking at individual cases. This would penalise a high achieving student at a school which had previously had poor results, which is probably what happened in the case @aypi quoted.

    Something similar seems to have happened with IB results, where overall results were up, but many students were downgraded.
    Lalad likes this.
  9. bessiesmith2

    bessiesmith2 New commenter

    I think the Scottish results have demonstrated clearly that giving students results based on predicted grades does not work - a fact likely to be underlined when the results are released for the rest of the UK. It's for similar reasons that using FFT 'target grades' to predict the results of individual students is fraught with difficulties.

    Of course the exam boards could not accept a 25% increase in the pass rate. But most teachers were likely not trying to beat the system. Many students are on the borderline between grades - particularly 3 months before the exam which was when we stopped teaching them. There is a certain amount of luck involved in exams - the right questions come up, the student has a bad day or misreads an essay title for a high mark question - normally we accept this as a fair part of the system. Faced with predicting grades in this system teachers either had to assume all students would give their best shot at revising and have their best day on the exam - or try to guess which ones wouldn't. Either way it is unsatisfactory.

    In England any students who feel short-changed are going to be able to resit their exams for any subject in the Autumn - is this the case in Scotland? It might mean dropping behind a year in going to university for example - but actually this year that might be a good thing - and in the big scheme of life won't make much difference.

    In hindsight I think perhaps the whole exam series should have been delayed - but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
    agathamorse and phlogiston like this.
  10. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    This is where the ranking matters. If she was put down from A to B that is because she was low in the school ranking and near the borderline. Because not all the As were put down to Bs. If she was so good at Prelims the school should have ranked her higher. Has the school told you what grade they submitted?
  11. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Some schools had the percentage getting As cut from 30% last year to 5% this year. Whatever algorithm they used was brutal to some schools.
  12. bobpite

    bobpite New commenter

  13. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    The thing is that only this boy's teacher knows if the grade C is fair or unfair. This boy might look a gifted artist but I assume that there are other components to the course? It could well be that he liked producing drawings but was not so keen on other coursework like writing essays for his folio.
    phlogiston likes this.
  14. install

    install Star commenter

    I’m going to say this. The real problem is that the grades awarded seem to be biased against those who live in poor areas and who go to underperforming schools. Its a kick in the teeth for the poor state kid but another step up the ladder for the rich kid.

    The Appeals system is flawed too.
  15. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    Perhaps what this shows is that despite the criticism often leveled at exams, the alternative is worse.
  16. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    All this reminds me of the artifice of ' consultation' at school when you're ' consulted' on a matter which has already been decided..Why ask if they already know.....
  17. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

  18. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    Presumably they are using the rank rather than the grade. So if previous results at a school show on average 10% get grade A*, they will give the top ranked 10% of pupils grade A*, regardless of predicted grade.
  19. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    yes, I would imagine so. Which could of course lead to a quite bizarre scenario if a school knew it was a "poor" cohort, and had only indicated 8% A*!!
  20. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    In England at least, the exam boards would have access to KS2 data which would give an indication of the prior attainment of the cohort for a school compared to the previous cohorts. Normal the whole year data is used to determine if there should be any changes in grade percentages but it might be used to decide grades this year.

    unlike Scotland, we should be given the details on how grades are being calculated on results day (they won’t be released earlier in case schools try to work out their own grades, get it wrong and communicate that with their students)

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