A-Levels: Barking and Dagenham Council proud of students despite downgrading dealing many ‘a bad card’

Barking and Dagenham Cabinet Member for Education and Schools Improvement Cllr Evelyn Carpenter says

Barking and Dagenham Cabinet Member for Education and Schools Improvement Cllr Evelyn Carpenter says the government must address the downgrading issue which has affected so many students. Picture: LBBD - Credit: Archant

Barking and Dagenham Council has congratulated students in the borough on their A-level results, which saw most secure their chosen destination, despite difficulties in downgrading.

Success stories include the Robert Clack School of Science, where more than 100 students are set to take up places at their first-choice university, including three to study medicine.

Both Sydney Russell and Riverside schools reported that most students secured their desired university, including to highly competitive institutions such as Oxford, Warwick, Durham, Nottingham, Imperial, Bath, Southampton and the London School of Economics.

Though full of praise for students’ achievements, borough councillor Cllr Evelyn Carpenter said the downgrading issue must be addressed, adding: “Our schools’ staff have followed the advice and drawn on a range of evidence including completed work, marked assignment and mock examination results — grades in every subject were agreed following a robust internal quality assurance process.

“Despite the hard work and dedication of both teachers and pupils I feel our young people have been dealt a bad card.

However, the cabinet member for education and schools improvement did emphasise her pride in the fact that “a large number of our young people have achieved their desired outcomes”.

Roger Leighton, the Barking and Dagenham representative for the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), questioned the grading system, saying: “The statistical model used by the boards to adjust these grades has resulted in far too many being lowered, often without any clear logic. This is unfair on the individual students affected.

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“The ASCL is calling on the government, and the exam regulator Ofqual, to review the situation as a matter of urgency, and not to simply dig in their heels and insist all is well.”

Students who wish to appeal their results can visit this link for further information; to learn more about how grades are calculated, click here.

Ofqual has been contacted for comment on the above matters.