Barking and Dagenham welcomes government U-turn on A-Levels and GCSE
- Credit: PA
The town hall has welcomed a government U-turn on A-level and GCSE grades.
Barking and Dagenham Council’s education chief hailed the move as a victory for common sense after the government announced on Monday, August 17 that all results in England will be based on teacher-assessed grades.
Earlier that day, council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell and Cllr Evelyn Carpenter, cabinet member for educational attainment and school improvement, wrote to education secretary, Gavin Williamson MP, urging the government to reconsider its stance.
A-level and GCSE exams were cancelled this summer because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Cllr Rodwell and Cllr Carpenter had called on the government not to apply the computerised standardisation of grades carried out by the exams regulator Ofqual.
Cllr Carpenter said: “I am glad that common sense has prevailed and our young people will now be graded by those who know their abilities and have worked closely with them over the years.
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“We know the standardisation process has undervalued our schools to the point where it seems like they don’t know the children they invest so much time in.
“Our schools have been unstinting in their efforts to support pupils during lockdown, working hard to ensure every child received as full and rounded an education as possible.”
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Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “This has been an extraordinarily difficult year for young people who were unable to take their exams.
“We worked with Ofqual to construct the fairest possible model, but it is clear that the process of allocating grades has resulted in more significant inconsistencies than can be resolved through an appeals process.”
He said the government now believed it is better to offer youngsters and parents “certainty” by moving to teacher assessed grades for A, AS level and GCSE results.
“I am sorry for the distress this has caused young people and their parents but hope this announcement will now provide the certainty and reassurance they deserve,” he added.
Cllr Carpenter said the borough’s teachers have provided “expert and professional” teacher assessments in place of final exam results.
“There was rigorous internal scrutiny within schools of the teacher assessed grades to ensure that they would stand up to external scrutiny if necessary,” she said.