Father to sue exams regulator over A-level grades system

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Lightning720
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"Southend sixth former Lexie Bell should be feeling confident about her university place in September. When she was applying her teachers predicted she would achieve an A* and two A grades, and she has worked hard to meet the terms of her offer to study English literature.

Instead, she is “worried and on edge” and her father, Michael, is fundraising through the Crowdjustice website to raise the fees for a legal action against Ofqual, the exam regulator in England. With exams cancelled because of Covid-19, he fears the proposed system to grade A-levels and GCSEs will mean downgrading high- achieving students attending less well-performing schools.

Teachers in England have submitted the grades they judge their students would have achieved in exams (centre assessment grades) and now Ofqual and the exam boards will put them through a statistical mangle, which Ofqual says is likely to include a comparison with the grades achieved in each subject by the school’s A-level candidates over the previous three years. If the boards suspect teachers are being over-optimistic, they will lower students’ marks.

Teachers have been told to put their candidates in rank order within the grades, which means those near the boundaries could drop to a lower grade if Ofqual raises the number of marks needed for each grade to avoid grade inflation compared with the previous year.



At Lexie’s school, Shoeburyness High School in Southend-on-Sea, no candidate has achieved above a C-grade in the last three years in her A-level subjects – English literature, psychology and religious education – so her father fears she could end up with Bs or even Cs to bring her in line with the school’s previous performance. He is hoping to launch a judicial review of Ofqual’s statistical standardisation methods before the results are determined and announced in mid-August."

Read the full article here - https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...-grades-system
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Compost
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If no one has achieved better than a C grade in the past 3 years in any of the subjects you have to wonder about the standard of teaching and how reliable the teachers' predictions of A*AA are.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Lightning720)
"Southend sixth former Lexie Bell should be feeling confident about her university place in September. When she was applying her teachers predicted she would achieve an A* and two A grades, and she has worked hard to meet the terms of her offer to study English literature.

Instead, she is “worried and on edge” and her father, Michael, is fundraising through the Crowdjustice website to raise the fees for a legal action against Ofqual, the exam regulator in England. With exams cancelled because of Covid-19, he fears the proposed system to grade A-levels and GCSEs will mean downgrading high- achieving students attending less well-performing schools.

Teachers in England have submitted the grades they judge their students would have achieved in exams (centre assessment grades) and now Ofqual and the exam boards will put them through a statistical mangle, which Ofqual says is likely to include a comparison with the grades achieved in each subject by the school’s A-level candidates over the previous three years. If the boards suspect teachers are being over-optimistic, they will lower students’ marks.

Teachers have been told to put their candidates in rank order within the grades, which means those near the boundaries could drop to a lower grade if Ofqual raises the number of marks needed for each grade to avoid grade inflation compared with the previous year.



At Lexie’s school, Shoeburyness High School in Southend-on-Sea, no candidate has achieved above a C-grade in the last three years in her A-level subjects – English literature, psychology and religious education – so her father fears she could end up with Bs or even Cs to bring her in line with the school’s previous performance. He is hoping to launch a judicial review of Ofqual’s statistical standardisation methods before the results are determined and announced in mid-August."

Read the full article here - https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...-grades-system
Someone was posting about them being in a similar situation.

Imo a non runner.
This is an exceptional situation, made as fair as it can be.
They can always sit the exam.
Feel sorrier for the private candidates who cnat even get a grade.
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econhelp525
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I read the article, and find it unconvincing. I go to a grammar school, and there are people who got all 8s and 9s who struggle to get above a C in their subjects, especially STEM. GCSE grades are by no means an accurate indicator of how you will perform at A-Level. For example, I got a 7 in History, so it'd be reasonable to expect me to work at around a B grade at A-Level, not A*, which I do. Similarly, my 6 in Mathematics would probably mean I would get no higher than a C, whilst I was working at an B/A grade. So, you know.

I think that the system is fair. It'd be unreasonable to expect that you'd be the one student to buck the trend. It runs deeper than that. If you've been taught by people who haven't produced a single student to achieve above a C, then it raises questions on the teaching the student has received, so probably wouldn't perform as well in the exams.
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ryan15mcc
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There are ALWAYS outliers. This is completely my position as well, and considering she got all grade 9s in her GCSEs in her A level subjects would suggest she is possible of the top grades. This is why I don’t understand why they aren’t taking GCSEs into account.
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ryan15mcc
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(Original post by econhelp525)
I read the article, and find it unconvincing. I go to a grammar school, and there are people who got all 8s and 9s who struggle to get above a C in their subjects, especially STEM. GCSE grades are by no means an accurate indicator of how you will perform at A-Level. For example, I got a 7 in History, so it'd be reasonable to expect me to work at around a B grade at A-Level, not A*, which I do. Similarly, my 6 in Mathematics would probably mean I would get no higher than a C, whilst I was working at an B/A grade. So, you know.

I think that the system is fair. It'd be unreasonable to expect that you'd be the one student to buck the trend. It runs deeper than that. If you've been taught by people who haven't produced a single student to achieve above a C, then it raises questions on the teaching the student has received, so probably wouldn't perform as well in the exams.
I would say that the people who don’t do very well at their GCSEs and then do well at A level are more uncommon than those who do very well at GCSE and go onto do very well at A level. For my personal experience I don’t know anybody who is consistently doing well in their A levels after achieving lower grades at GCSE. I would say that the situation the article is describing is more common than you realise.
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Other_Owl
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Maybe he's worried that she will get into a Red Brick and not a Russell Group.
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Lightning720
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(Original post by Compost)
If no one has achieved better than a C grade in the past 3 years in any of the subjects you have to wonder about the standard of teaching and how reliable the teachers' predictions of A*AA are.
It's funny how that's the thing you focus on rather than the actual issue that this is trying to address.
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(Original post by Lightning720)
I would recommend you read the fundraising page. They actually explain the situation very well - https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/challenge-ofqual/
You have to wonder why she did not change school after GCSEs.
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JGoosey2002
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(Original post by Compost)
If no one has achieved better than a C grade in the past 3 years in any of the subjects you have to wonder about the standard of teaching and how reliable the teachers' predictions of A*AA are.
She could be smart tbf. If an individual is good enough, they can get good grades from any school.
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ryan15mcc
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(Original post by Lightning720)
It's funny how that's the thing you focus on rather than the actual issue that this is trying to address.
Exactly

(Original post by JGoosey2002)
She could be smart tbf. If an individual is good enough, they can get good grades from any school.
Well said
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econhelp525
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(Original post by Lightning720)
It's funny how that's the thing you focus on rather than the actual issue that this is trying to address.
People have the ability to move schools, you know. Which she should've done. Baffling to why she even refused a grammar school spot when she passed the 11+.
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JGoosey2002
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I don’t even think the students grades will get brought down. I don’t think they’re saying that every school has to have the exact same results as last year. One outlier is fine so long as the rest of the results arent too different
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mnot
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(Original post by Lightning720)
"Southend sixth former Lexie Bell should be feeling confident about her university place in September. When she was applying her teachers predicted she would achieve an A* and two A grades, and she has worked hard to meet the terms of her offer to study English literature.

Instead, she is “worried and on edge” and her father, Michael, is fundraising through the Crowdjustice website to raise the fees for a legal action against Ofqual, the exam regulator in England. With exams cancelled because of Covid-19, he fears the proposed system to grade A-levels and GCSEs will mean downgrading high- achieving students attending less well-performing schools.

Teachers in England have submitted the grades they judge their students would have achieved in exams (centre assessment grades) and now Ofqual and the exam boards will put them through a statistical mangle, which Ofqual says is likely to include a comparison with the grades achieved in each subject by the school’s A-level candidates over the previous three years. If the boards suspect teachers are being over-optimistic, they will lower students’ marks.

Teachers have been told to put their candidates in rank order within the grades, which means those near the boundaries could drop to a lower grade if Ofqual raises the number of marks needed for each grade to avoid grade inflation compared with the previous year.



At Lexie’s school, Shoeburyness High School in Southend-on-Sea, no candidate has achieved above a C-grade in the last three years in her A-level subjects – English literature, psychology and religious education – so her father fears she could end up with Bs or even Cs to bring her in line with the school’s previous performance. He is hoping to launch a judicial review of Ofqual’s statistical standardisation methods before the results are determined and announced in mid-August."

Read the full article here - https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...-grades-system

Here is the link to the fundraising page which explains in greater detail the situation - https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/challenge-ofqual/
Absolutely bonkers.
Yes if his daughter does get low grades then she may be a victim of circumstance. But she can sit the paper when they become available in September/October.

The reality is if the government didn’t implement a system there would have been chaos elsewhere. It’s not a fair system but it seems the most reasonable in the circumstances.

This is precisely why they are allowing students to sit paper exams so there results aren’t penalised, the time delay is unfortunate but is just the reality of global pandemic.
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ryan15mcc
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(Original post by econhelp525)
People have the ability to move schools, you know. Which she should've done. Baffling to why she even refused a grammar school spot when she passed the 11+.
Maybe she didn’t want to go to a grammar school. It’s personal choice at the end of the day. I did well without attending a grammar school.
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econhelp525
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(Original post by ryan15mcc)
Maybe she didn’t want to go to a grammar school. It’s personal choice at the end of the day. I did well without attending a grammar school.
Then it's really her own fault for choosing to stay at a school that performs badly year after year? Like, seriously, is it really the fault of the system when the pupil, who had a second chance to go somewhere much better for A-Levels, chose to stay at the school with a poor record of high grades? What did she expect would happen? A lot of students can coast GCSEs, but without good teaching at A-Level, it doesn't matter how bright they might be, they won't do well. I did the sensible thing after my GCSEs and moved, and clearly I was in the right frame of mind because if I didn't, I would be getting appalling grades, no matter my personal skills. It's the same logic as why a university doesn't care if you do four A-Levels if you then go on to get AABB when their requirements are A*AA. You put yourself in a bad situation.
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(Original post by econhelp525)
Then it's really her own fault for choosing to stay at a school that performs badly year after year? Like, seriously, is it really the fault of the system when the pupil, who had a second chance to go somewhere much better for A-Levels, chose to stay at the school with a poor record of high grades? What did she expect would happen? A lot of students can coast GCSEs, but without good teaching at A-Level, it doesn't matter how bright they might be, they won't do well. I did the sensible thing after my GCSEs and moved, and clearly I was in the right frame of mind because if I didn't, I would be getting appalling grades, no matter my personal skills. It's the same logic as why a university doesn't care if you do four A-Levels if you then go on to get AABB when their requirements are A*AA. You put yourself in a bad situation.
I disagree completely. She could have wanted to stay with friends. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it’s easy to say now that she should’ve gone to a a better college, but she didn’t and now she’s in that situation. Nothing can change that, so there’s no need to be so pessimistic. I never sat the 11 plus, but I would’ve rather have gone to a school with my friends than a grammar school.
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JGoosey2002
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(Original post by econhelp525)
What did she expect would happen?
Lmao, probably not this. What a weird thing to say.

I don’t think they should sue as it’s not really anyone’s fault but to blame the student is stupid.

There will be people (not her) who are very capable and go to low performing schools with no opportunity to go to any other school.

Ur point about good teaching being crucial is waffle as well. How do people self teach then? Sure it helps but you can get good grades anywhere. it’s the individual who takes the exam, not the school
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econhelp525
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(Original post by ryan15mcc)
I disagree completely. She could have wanted to stay with friends. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it’s easy to say now that she should’ve gone to a a better college, but she didn’t and now she’s in that situation. Nothing can change that, so there’s no need to be so pessimistic. I never sat the 11 plus, but I would’ve rather have gone to a school with my friends than a grammar school.
You say that like people don't make friends when moving schools or keep in touch with old friends. The main thing students should focus on is how to maximise the potential to do well, and if they choose to sacrifice it that's on them. Whether or not exams were cancelled, more likely than not she would've underperformed anyhow due to the teaching, so.
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Lightning720
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(Original post by econhelp525)
Then it's really her own fault for choosing to stay at a school that performs badly year after year? Like, seriously, is it really the fault of the system when the pupil, who had a second chance to go somewhere much better for A-Levels, chose to stay at the school with a poor record of high grades? What did she expect would happen? A lot of students can coast GCSEs, but without good teaching at A-Level, it doesn't matter how bright they might be, they won't do well. I did the sensible thing after my GCSEs and moved, and clearly I was in the right frame of mind because if I didn't, I would be getting appalling grades, no matter my personal skills. It's the same logic as why a university doesn't care if you do four A-Levels if you then go on to get AABB when their requirements are A*AA. You put yourself in a bad situation.
What!? It seems like you are seriously suggesting she should have predicted the school's previous attainment would matter when she took her A Levels. This is not her fault. She had no idea her choice of school would impact what grade she got. There are plenty of reasons why people chose schools with poor prior attainment. Plus, many people can do well whatever school they go to. It's silly to suggest "clever" people shouldn't dare to go to "poorer quality" schools.
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