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Legal challenge to the way this year's exam results are to be decided

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Morninglover, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    jonnymarr likes this.
  2. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    The method does seem to be potentially very unfair for a few students in this kind of position. There will probably also be some very weak students who get grades they don't deserve but I doubt if they will complain.

    Once the decision was taken to cancel exams I'm not sure what else could be done. The Gove changes make the situation more difficult as there isn't much else to base grades on besides teacher assessments and the school's past performances. In earlier years there would have been AS results and going back even further an A2 module taken in January, so they'd already have had most of their marks.
    DYNAMO67, agathamorse and jonnymarr like this.
  3. pair_of_argyles

    pair_of_argyles Occasional commenter

    Just wait until parents start taking legal action against individual members of staff over the grades they have "awarded".
    Hope your union offers you adequate legal protection
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
  4. jonnymarr

    jonnymarr Occasional commenter

    According to Ofqual, parents and pupils are apparently 'not allowed' to ask staff in school which grade was estimated by the school nor their position within the rank order ( but how long before they figure these out by a quick group chat? ) If we are confronted with a Y13 in floods of tears asking us whether the fact that they didn't get onto their HE course was 'our fault' or 'the exam board/government/Ofqual' we're supposed to keep a poker-face and say 'I can't tell you that' = malpractice if we don't / it will be investigated.

    I think the father/daughter in the Guardian article ( and all those potentially in a similar position ) have a valid case - morally if not legally. I wonder if the pass rate may go up significantly this year? Cue howls of protest from other year groups who might not get similar treatment. Lose-lose, or so it seems. Option of sitting exams in the Autumn ( if unhappy ) was being dangled as a peace offering. Not sure that's ideal either - too late to start uni (unless they have two entries in one year ) and Y13s sitting exams after stagnating ( potentially ) since late March.... hmm....
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter

    The whole thing makes a mockery of the UK educational system. This sounds like aegrotat qualifications to me. :cool:
  6. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    Perhaps there's a benefit to the way the international A-levels are still run with exams at the end of Y12. The exam boards have actual grades to compare with predictions.
    strawbs and agathamorse like this.
  7. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    I thought it was kind of shocking they weren't taking GCSE grades into account to assess the accuracy of teacher assessments at A-Level. I would have thought that would be a pretty sure-fire way of doing it, and this sort of data already exists for the purposes of target setting.
    bessiesmith2 likes this.
  8. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    I don't think GCSE grades are necessarily good predictors of A-level. I've known kids learn to pass GCSEs with almost perfect scores then fall apart at A-level when skills count more and memory less.

    Talking about science here.
    maggie m, agathamorse and Ivanhoe like this.
  9. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    And other subjects. Considering they're opening schools to primary children, you'd think they could have managed to open schools to run exams. I get it's unfair that some kids would have been stuck with no textbooks or laptops in a small flat with 5 siblings, while some would have had Mummy pay for 1:1 online tuition.
    But it's always been unfair that some of our students act as carers for their families/struggle with p/t jobs while they study, while others don't. At least this way they'd have the chance to take an exam.
  10. jonnymarr

    jonnymarr Occasional commenter

    I see Geoff Barton ( ASCL ) has writen about this topic and has mentioned subject access requests ( FOI / GDPR ). Schools will have to hand over any electronic data they have on the students, including grades submitted. I assume that's correct - I can't see how you could embargo/censor this info - so the students will find out one way or another if we estimated the grade they were awarded or whether there has been statistical adjustment applied. I'm guessing that most schools will welcome the chance to provide this info: Look, it wasn't us! - it was because previous cohorts didn't do as well as yours etc etc. Not that this will be of any consolation to the student...
    Perhaps unis will be more flexible with applicants - they really need (remote) bums on (remote) seats this year - perhaps schools/FE will be more flexible too about entry requirements for post16 courses. Perhaps it will all be fine, but, as Geoff Barton writes, these could be very weird and challenging results days for all concerned.
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    Had the exam boards not acted as soon as they did, there'd have been immense pressure on students and teachers to ignore distancing measures and get into school for that exam preparation.

    As messy as the current situation is, I think the exam boards did the right thing when they announced the cancellation and ended that uncertainty.
    DYNAMO67 and agathamorse like this.
  12. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    It was the government which cancelled the exams not the awarding bodies.
    Morninglover and agathamorse like this.
  13. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Oh sure, but it's a damned sight better than just hoping the current cohort are of a similar ability to previous cohorts within a given school. I teach in Scotland now and SQA release data telling you how those students who progressed from N5 to Higher at each grade did. In almost every major subject around half of students getting a grade A at N5 progressed to an A at Higher. It seems to me that if a student got an A at N5 and is predicted an A at Higher by their teacher there should be a presumption that this is correct, regardless of whether anyone from that school got an A the previous year(s). Outside of the largest subjects at the largest colleges the statistical significance of previous years' results is likely to be very low.
    jonnymarr likes this.
  14. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I'm not sure what the best solution is.
    Part of me thinks that some pupils should try harder to show the best that they can be.
    Part of me thinks that a combination of teacher judgement combined with prior results will be the fairest way out of the difficulty.
    Part of me wonders whether ditching modules was a good idea. They were pretty accurate with the kids I taught, but my daughter was seriously under prepared for year 10 and year 12 modules.

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