D H
Aug 17 · Last update 19 days ago.

What do you think of the UK grading fiasco?

While many worried the coronavirus pandemic would harm education, few envisaged the scandal that is unfolding surrounding A-level results, and possibly upcoming GCSE (secondary school) results, in the UK. In the UK A-level (used to gain entry to the country’s universities) examinations were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and the government exam regulator, Ofqual, devised a result-calculating algorithm to determine grades. Based on teachers predicted grades students grades were plotted against a statistic model of previous averages obtained by the school or institution to estimate for every individual student. However this algorithm produced what many see as flawed calculations, gaining a massive amount of criticism with some receiving, what they feel to be, unfair grades that do not accurately reflect their ability. What do you think of the unfolding UK grading crisis? What can and should be done?
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Another U-Turn but no apology!
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Blown out of proportion
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Ofqual’s method reinforces societal disparities
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Another U-Turn but no apology!

UK Government needs to take command and apologise for this, one of their many pandemic policy failures, just as has happened in Scotland. On Monday August 17 2020 an embarrassing U-turn was made following a nationwide call for reform, it was widely considered that teachers would have done a better job than the government’s ill-advised statistical modelling. The governments decision came following pressure from angry students, teachers, lawmakers; the threat of legal action caused the abandonment of the algorithm that caused major downgrading to around 40% of school leavers, with those from disadvantaged areas being most severely affected. But while Welsh and Scottish governments have made heart felt and honest apologies, the Tories seem to be carrying out a cull through resignation instead of just apologising and taking responsibility, the same doubling down we have seen throughout the pandemic. Shadow education secretary Kate Green has accused the Prime Minister of “shamelessly trying to avoid taking responsibility for the exams fiasco that his Government created”. [1]

heraldscotland.com/news/18656842.uk-government-u-turn-exam-results-grading-fiasco news.yahoo.com/uk-government-faces-more-criticism-072607239.html shropshirestar.com/news/uk-news/2020/08/26/from-mutant-algorithms-to-resignations-a-timeline-of-the-exam-grading-fiasco dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8616197/Scottish-pupils-level-grades-predicted-teachers-major-U-turn.html [1] belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/from-mutant-algorithms-to-resignations-a-timeline-of-the-exam-grading-fiasco-39481029.html

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D H
Sep 8
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Blown out of proportion

Many students in the UK received a centre-assessed grade (CAG) rather than a teacher-assessed grade, the CAG was weighed against an exam board calculated grade and whichever is higher was taken as the student final grade. But although many argued that this was unfair this procedure happened on a national level with many students in a similar position, and as a result institutions have been understanding of the fall in grades and accommodated students accordingly. For example the Royal College of GPs has lifted the cap on medical students this year in order to balance out the negative effect on grades that centre-assessed grading has had. Students are still able to question the grade they were awarded by appealing or re-sitting, and it should be down to the individual to contest their grades, this could be a good lesson and character building exercise for these students moving forward.

bbc.com/news/education-53812998 news.sky.com/story/cap-lifted-on-university-places-for-medical-students-after-algorithm-fiasco-12053003

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D H
Sep 8
Created

Ofqual’s method reinforces societal disparities

Decisions to base students grades on how past students have performed is extremely anti-egalitarian and will just serve to reinforce class, income and inequality barriers in the country, a country already struggling with the highest levels of inequality in Europe. This method of deciding A-level results, and therefore university placements has mostly impacted disadvantaged and state-educated pupils with approximately 35% of results downgraded. Not only have Ofqual taken the schools reputation to reinforce the bad or good grades from the school regardless of the individuals own skills dedication and ability, but as it currently stands it is up to the individual student to challenge this decision. This is essentially forcing students to challenge authority and fight in order to obtain their true grade, something that students from affluent middle-class backgrounds will more likely have the confidence, access to finances, and support to actually do.

inews.co.uk/news/politics/a-level-results-student-grade-review-threaten-legal-action-government-court-579630 metro.co.uk/2020/08/13/35-level-results-downgraded-one-grade-13122686 equalitytrust.org.uk/scale-economic-inequality-uk

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D H
Aug 17
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