Ottery headteacher welcomes re-grading of A-levels after national results ‘fiasco’

PUBLISHED: 16:09 18 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:09 18 August 2020

The King's School head teacher Robert Gammon. Picture: Philippa Davies

The King's School head teacher Robert Gammon. Picture: Philippa Davies

Philippa Davies

The headteacher of The King’s School in Ottery St Mary has branded the handling of A-level results a ‘fiasco’, in a letter to the students’ parents.

Rob Gammon confirmed that a quarter of the A-level grades issued to his students last Thursday (August 13) are now being adjusted upwards, after a national outcry over the system used to calculate results.

Nationally, about 40 per cent of A-level results were downgraded by Ofqual from the ‘centre-assessed’ grades - the predictions made by schools and colleges.

But after a dramatic U-turn from the Government, the lower grades are being scrapped in favour of those the schools and colleges thought students would have achieved if they had sat the exams - or the moderated grade if this is higher.

In his letter to parents, Mr Gammon said: “There has been a huge amount of confusion regarding the examination results and, whilst the word ‘fiasco’ has been used many times in the national press, it is probably the only word that can be used to describe the events of recent days.

“We, and many others in the education sector, supported the principle of moderating grades submitted by centres in order to provide consistency but it is now clear that the Ofqual statistical model has not worked in practice.”

He confirmed that the GCSE results, being released this Thursday (August 20), will be based on the school’s assessments.

He also clarified that these ‘centre-assessed’ grades are not the same as the grade the student was working at before lockdown, the target grades which are often set higher to motivate students, or the grades predicted in school reports or provided to external bodies such as universities.

He added that the school is still waiting for further information from the Department for Education and Ofqual, saying: “At this stage there is a lack of information and clarity on many of the key questions including the publication of ‘official’ results and the appeals process.

“As soon as we are able to give you more information we will share it with you. We will formally publish revised examination outcomes for Year 13 students as soon as possible.”


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