Stroud head teachers have responded to the Government’s decision to cancel GCSE and A-level exams this summer and replace them with grades decided by teachers.
A combination of mock exams, coursework and essays will be used by schools to assess their students, unless pupils volunteer to take written papers in the autumn, Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson announced this morning.
After last year’s fiasco, no algorithm will be used by the regulator to standardise teachers’ grades.
“I personally welcome the fact that a rigorous consultation process took place and that greater trust is being put on teachers to award grades that the students deserve,” said Kieron Smith, headteacher at Archway School, which took part in an Ofqual consultation on examinations this year.
“I am confident that we are well placed to ensure that fair and accurate grades are awarded to our Year 11, 12 and 13 students this year.”
“The students have been working hard during this period of lockdown providing helpful evidence of their ability to our teachers.”
Exam boards are expected to issue grade descriptions and to scrutinize anomalous results in greater detail.
“If done correctly, this should ‘level the playing field’, so long as a broad brushstroke approach is not used and that the exam boards recognise that grades in individual schools can, and do, vary from year to year,” said Mr Smith.
In Parliament today, Gavin Williamson said teachers had a good understanding of their students’ performance.
“I can confirm that no algorithm with be used for this process. Grades will be awarded on the basis of teachers judgement and will only ever be changed by human intervention.”
He said it was vital that students have confidence in the fairness of their grades.
“All our children and young people have paid a considerable price for the disruption of the past year it has knocked their learning off track it has put their friendships to one side, and it has put some of the wonder of growing up on hold.”
“It has caused enormous damage to what should have been a care free and exciting part of growing up, I am absolutely committed that with this programme of catch up measures and the extra funds for tutoring we can start to put this right.
“Together with the measures we have set out fort a fair and robust allocation of grades young people will be able to look forward to the next stage of their lives with confidence.”
“Our approach in the face of the worst disruption to education since the second world war has been to protect the progress of pupils and students.”
More from other local schools to follow.