Headteachers call on government to scrap algorithm in favour of predicted GCSE grades
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Prominent Suffolk headteachers are urging the government to scrap the ‘blatantly unfair’ algorithm which could severely impact students’ grades ahead of GCSE results day.
Dave Lee-Allan, headteacher of Stowmarket High School and chairman of the Suffolk Association of Secondary Heads (SASH), has written to education secretary Gavin Williamson on behalf of the organisation as many students’ GCSE results may be downgraded this week.
Thousands of A-level students were left shocked last Thursday after receiving lower-than-expected grades, which have been decided by an algorithm developed by exams regulator Ofqual rather than teachers.
The algorithm has proved controversial after nearly 40% of grades were marked down from teachers’ predictions, with students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds more likely to be affected.
This has prompted SASH and Mr Lee-Allan to attempt to persuade the government to ignore the outcomes of the Ofqual methodology on GCSE results day on Thursday and rely on the predicted grades submitted by teachers, who have worked “extremely hard” to provide accurate results.
You may also want to watch:
SASH has said if predicted grades - known as centre assessed grades - cannot be used, there should be an “immediate” and free appeals process for students to challenge the results.
In the letter, Mr Lee-Allan said: “The adherence to the Ofqual algorithm has created a blatantly unfair outcome for too many students, particularly those from a disadvantaged background.
- 1 A12 reopens after serious collision
- 2 Family 'devastated' after elderly man's Reliant Robin tipped over
- 3 Our Ipswich Town predictions: Top scorer, best player, where they'll finish and more
- 4 'There won't be a better group of strikers in the league' - Jeffers on Town's firepower
- 5 Man dies in two-car crash on A12
- 6 'A rut had set in and it needed to change... we will have got one or two wrong' - Cook on his Ipswich Town squad cull
- 7 Man who built outbuildings and lake without permission fined £1,300
- 8 Snape Maltings launches two new restaurants with far-reaching river views
- 9 Historic East Anglian sailing barge to become floating bakery
- 10 GP warns of 'Latitude effect' as cases rise among young people
“We have all stood with desperately upset students and been unable to explain why the system chose them to be downgraded. It is not acceptable for these students to effectively be asked to ‘take one for the team’.
“The late introduction of ‘mock’ grades as a fall back and the delay in defining a suitable appeals process is adding confusion and enormous tension for young people who have already suffered enough through the Covid pandemic.
“By reverting to the centre assessed grade, there will be parity with other students in the UK and trust can be restored.”
Mr Lee-Allan added: “The algorithm is disproportionately unfair in its impact on key groups of students. Even though it had the best intentions, it has been unfair on many students.
“There’s talk 97% of grades might be changed to meet statistical modelling. This particular process hasn’t worked.”