Image - lbrut-a-level-nightmare

The Council is today standing firm with local schools and young people as initial feedback shows that a disproportionate number of the A-level grades awarded locally are unfair, due to the Government untested, evaluation process.

Hundreds of young people across the borough received their A-Level results today. Whilst some schools are reporting results that are broadly similar to those achieved in previous years, they are also finding a significant proportion of grades have been downgraded by Ofqual, in some cases amounting to 45% of all of those submitted.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the youngsters were not able to sit their exams. So, teachers were told to submit the grades they thought each student would have received if they had sat the exams, alongside a rank order of students.

Examining bodies then standardised the results. As a result of this approach, it is estimated that grades are much lower than predicted and in some cases down two or more grades. This has understandably caused a great deal of anxiety and stress for pupils, who have not achieved the outcomes they need to progress, whether they are attending university or starting a career.

A number of local schools have voiced their enormous disappointment with the figures and will be challenging many grades on behalf of their students, which will be an additional priority for schools to manage alongside planning for September re-opening.

Cllr Penny Frost, Chair of the Education and Children’s Services Committee;

“Firstly, I would like to say congratulations to those students who have done well today. You should all be very proud of your achievements - particularly in light of the additional challenges you have faced this year.

“However, I am extremely concerned, even with the additional measures announced by the Government late in the day, that many of our hard working students in Richmond upon Thames may not have got the A-levels they deserved today - and we expect it to be similar with GCSE results next week.

“There has been an absolutely shambolic handling of a situation by the Government, which could adversely impact the futures of many young people across the borough. It is simply wrong to take account of factors other than the student’s own performance in assessing their achievement and it is certainly wrong to discriminate against students who have attended schools that have not achieved good results in the past. The Government evaluation system has failed so many of our young people. We will be supporting any school and student who wants to take issue with their grades.

“These last few months have been and continue to be very difficult for both students and teachers and I have nothing but praise for their resilience and hard work.

“Over the next few weeks, whilst our schools are preparing hard for the safe return of their students, this is just another thing that our teaching staff have to contend with.”

To see further information on the appeals process or support available for those students disappointed with their results, go to:

– from a Richmond Council press release - 13 August 2020