A-Level news: Gavin Williamson to foot the bill for students to appeal results | UK | News (Reports)


Because of the coronavirus, students have been unable to sit exams as usual so their grades have been calculated through a combination of teacher predictions and a complex algorithm. There was controversy after 39 percent of grades predicted by teachers were down marked by the algorithm by one or more grades.

Critics pointed out schools in deprived areas had been hit worst by the adjustments whilst private schools experienced less of an impact.

The algorithm used factors like their school’s past performance to help determine what adjustments should be made to pupil grades.

England’s exam regulator said it was forced to act after teachers submitted “implausibly high” predicted grades.

According to The Mirror Education Secretary Gavin Williamson will commit to waiving the fees for any exam appeals this year, with the cost bein covered by the Department for Education.

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Currently schools have to pay a fee, either £120 or £150, for each unsuccessful appeal.

The paper reports Mr Williamson is also launching a task force to ensure appeals are completed before university admission deadlines pass.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb has reportedly been put in charge of this team, which will liaise with exam boards and the Ofqual regulator.

Currently the UCAS university deadline for students to meet their academic requirements is September 7.

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A spokesman for Oxford university commented: “We intend to take every student who meets their offer grades as well as those where we consider there are mitigating circumstances for them missing their grade.

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“As we do every year when grades are re-marked, some students may be offered a deferred place.

“Once we reach our maximum intake of undergraduates in 2020, we will have to defer entry to 2021 for any additional candidates who appeal successfully and whose place is then confirmed.

“Our primary concern must be the health and safety of our students, staff and community and it will not otherwise be possible for us to meet ongoing social-distancing restrictions and other challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Students rallied outside Downing Street to protest at the crisis.

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Placards were held aloft accusing the Government of “class robbery” and calling for Mr Williamson to be sacked.

One Oxford college, Worcester, has pledged to grant all places it offered regardless of the final A-Level result.

The college said: “Many members of our college community and beyond have expressed their concern for the potential impact of yesterday’s A-level results on this year’s incoming students.

“At Worcester we made offers in 2020 to our most diverse cohort ever, and in response to the uncertainties surrounding this year’s assessment, we have confirmed the places of all our UK offer-holders, irrespective of their A-level results.”

Additional protests against the Government’s handling of A-Level results are expected in London on Saturday.


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