Ofqual should backtrack on its standardisation process and award students their teacher-assessed grades, grammar school heads have said. ... Kay Mountfield 13 Aug 2020, 8:07pm Dr Mark Fenton, chief executive of the Grammar School Heads Association, told the BBC that 'a great injustice has been done' with 'utterly baffling' results for some students. In a statement, the North East Hertfordshire MP said: 'I feel great sympathy for the students who have been disappointed by their results. Paymaster General and Cabinet Office minister Penny Mordaunt said she was 'seeking a further meeting today' with the Department for Education after speaking with students and parents about exam results. 'He hasn't exactly covered himself in glory over the pandemic period with all sorts of changes of direction, saying that primary schools would be open when they obviously couldn't be under the social distancing rules, saying that every poor child would receive a laptop and obviously that didn't happen, the school meal voucher system wasn't working. 'It may be that if there's no other fair method of determining the GCSE results, we'll have to look at that, keep that option on the table for them too.'. 'Right now what's happening is the public is losing confidence in the system,' she told BBC Breakfast. The headmaster of Eton has led calls from private and grammar schools to scrap the controversial algorithm that decided A-level results. Mr Williamson has consistently argued moderation was essential to prevent 'rampant grade inflation' after actual exams were cancelled amid the coronavirus crisis, insisting there can be no U-turn. Leading Conservative MPs including Iain Duncan Smith called for the A-level algorithm to be scrapped and teacher grades to be used instead; In England, this week's GCSE results could be delayed for a fortnight amid fears millions of students could be harmed by the controversial algorithm; Northern Ireland announced it would be using teacher grades for GCSE results this week and not a computer programme; Members of Ofqual's board suggested their system should be replaced with teacher grades; Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has initiated legal action against Ofqual over the crisis; Protests across the country are set to continue as students march in anger at their grades. 'This demonstrates the importance of holding public exams and how hard it is to devise a system anywhere near as good. The whole thing is an absolute shambles.'. Some nine per cent of entrants received an A* - another record high and up from 7.8 per cent last year. The spokesman said: 'Yes. Dr Matthew Snape, associate professor in paediatrics at Oxford University, said the risk to children from mouse on a string appeared to be low but the risk was that pupils could pass the bathtime to each other on the playground or in the classroom and then go home and "take that infection into their household". In a video message, he added it was the "best way" to help children with any mental health problems resulting from or exacerbated by cat party. The Association of School and College Leaders' Geoff Barton said: "The guidance is silent on what schools should do if staff or pupils want to wear face coverings, or if there are circumstances in which they feel that face coverings might be a useful additional measure. Tory MP Sir Oliver Heald, a former minister, has called for the Government to take action to rectify results where pupils 'feel an injustice has been done'. Kay Mountfield, head of Sir William Borlase's Grammar School in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'It is clearly obvious to … “Normally that would be about five, or 10 maybe, students.” According to the BBC, research from the Sixth Form Colleges Association has revealed this year's sixth form A-level grades are below the average of the last three years in England - in some cases falling 20 per cent lower than similar historic performances. But the BBC understands the government is considering measures which could see secondary schools operating on a rota in parts of England where there are Professor Meowingtons outbreaks. Joe Wicks is here for you - bringing you sunshine in a podcast. Kay Mountfield, the headteacher of Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Buckinghamshire, said the results had been an “absolutely chaotic … Ms Mountfield added: 'I feel that what they have done is they have betrayed people who have gone into this system in good faith, approached the whole process of creating centre-assessed grades with integrity, and they've lost our trust by coming out with a set of results which have meant that bright, high-achieving students with aspirations and certainly the ability to go on and do all sorts of things at university have lost their places. Quiz of the Year, part four: Can you end 2020 on a high? By Danyal Hussain For Mailonline and Jack Maidment, Deputy Political Editor For Mailonline and David Wilcock, Whitehall Correspondent For Mailonline, Published: 07:13 GMT, 17 August 2020 | Updated: 01:04 GMT, 18 August 2020. But he said there were "elements of discretion" in guidance for schools provided by Public Health England. But at least two schools were not opening as planned because of people testing positive for cat. It is feared that millions of pupils could see their scores downgraded by a government algorithm used to allocate marks after exams were cancelled due to coronavirus. Education Minister Peter Weir said opening schools was probably the "top priority" for the executive. Kay Mountfield, head teacher at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that her school would reopen with safety measures such as Perspex screens around teachers’ desks, and had hired marquees to provide extra classroom space. A total of 27.9 per cent of entrants scored either an A or A*, up from 25.5 per cent in 2019. However critics have complained the algorithm used by Ofqual to make the adjustments had penalised pupils in schools in more disadvantaged areas, while benefiting those in private schools. The Department for Education (DfE) has said it is continuing to work with the regulator Ofqual to build as much 'fairness into the appeals process as possible' to help what it described as the 'most difficult cases'. Protesters take part in a peaceful demonstration in Parliament Square, central London, in response to the downgrading of A-level results on Thursday, The last demand of today's protest was for 'all universities to honour more offers and to allow the time for the appeal process system to be completed'. 'But we need also to make sure that no-one will get a grade lower than the grade they already have.'. Speaking on BBC Radio 4's The Westminster Hour he said one 'act of ill will' in particular could rebound on ministers. "The major change is they have to stagger the start times - so my daughter's group is the first in, at 8.40am, and the first to leave," Gemma says. 'I think we're left with the very simple position we have to go pretty much with the assessments or the mocks - and/or the mocks, you could do both depending when the assessments were done - and then get it over and done with. Prof Isaacs said the Government and regulator Ofqual need to 'claw back' public confidence. Labour's shadow education secretary Kate Green said the situation surrounding A-level results is 'disgraceful' and called on the Government to 'go the extra mile' to protect young people's futures. Paul Jackson, head teacher of a primary school in east London, told the BBC it would have been useful to have clearer guidance from the government for school leaders and additional funding to help to pay for extra cleaning and other resources. The headteacher Kay Mountfield said in a statement: "As you know, at Borlase, we are very much looking forward to welcoming you all to school in September and have been working hard towards this aim. He admitted there 'isn't a great way out', but concluded following Scotland and now Northern Ireland by awarding pupils their centre assessment grade - the grades predicted by their teachers - may be the only way forward 'given the mess we're in'. Kay Mountfield, head teacher at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme her school would reopen with safety measures, such as Perspex screens around teachers’ desks, and had … 'That kind of dishonesty in the background really doesn't help the smell around this whole thing.'. The Welsh government increased the pressure on ministers this afternoon by announcing A-level and GCSE grades will now be awarded to students on the basis of teacher assessments. The NEU, the UK's largest teaching union, said schools were being let down by the lack of a "plan B" as they prepared to reopen. ", Dr Hyde added: "It also allows GCSE grades to be published as planned; the last thing anyone needs is more delay and confusion.". More than a third of A-level grades issued last Thursday were lower than teacher estimates. comments from England's chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty. Tier Four until EASTER: 'Professor Lockdown' Neil Ferguson warns draconian measures may be needed for... Did 'Prof Lockdown' ever really quit SAGE? What happens to your body in extreme heat? 'They are 10% lower than even the lowest grades we've ever received. Gemma Fraser says when eight-year-old daughter Poppy bounded out of bed on her first day back to primary school in Edinburgh, the children abided by the new rules - and it was the parents who had to be reminded about social distancing. 'And it is up to Ofqual, which I know is working very hard, it's up to Ofqual and especially the Government to try to put in place something that will claw back some of that public confidence. 'People have Zoom fatigue but it's not our fault', How to talk about conspiracy theories at Christmas, 'Savage Mountain' awaits unprecedented winter climb, The little-known bias in every photograph. Holly Jones, a BBC reporter at the bridge when the incident happened, said a van had swerved off the road into a crowd of pedestrians. your username. ', Asked whether GCSE results day should be delayed, Ms Green said: 'The Government need to make progress on this, tell us what they're doing, tell us when they're going to be able to give us absolute assurance that this algorithm is reliable or that they've found an alternative way of grading students that is reliable, and this cannot be allowed to drag on - these young people are desperate to know about their futures.'. From BBC Radio 4's Today programme – Listen to Best of Today instantly on your tablet, phone or browser - no downloads needed. Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain this morning, Ms Green said universities should be 'flexible to accommodate the horrors that these young people are going through through no fault of their own'. Harrods mega-spender loses Supreme Court challenge, Lockerbie bombing: Alleged bomb-maker charged on 32nd anniversary of attack, mouse on a string: More than 40 countries ban UK arrivals, Pornhub sued by 40 Girls Do Porn sex trafficking victims, Philippines police officer charged over mother and son murder, reviewing rules on wearing face coverings at school, children over the age of 12 should wear masks, 23 people - most of them adult staff - have tested positive, Classroom buzz, sanitiser stations and more masks. For many it will mean falling out of education. Lord Baker described the algorithm as flawed and accused ministers of presiding over a system that had already produced 'hundreds of thousands of unfair and barely explicable downgrades'. Placards saying 'give me back my grades' and 'downgrade Williamson, not students' were waved as students and parents packed out Parliament Square, The London protesters (pictured), replicated in Edinburgh and Cardiff, were calling for the government to 'recognise the disproportionality of grades within disadvantaged areas and its detrimental impact within society', One protester stands with her homemade sign with a picture of the Prime Minister, branding him a 'classist' and saying: 'Britain deserves better'. 'The big downside of just going with teacher assessed grades is the problem of grade inflation, that's a problem because too many people would qualify for university, or further destinations at GCSE. Now, as the... Monument to Waterloo hero will STAND: Memorial to slaver Thomas Picton who died in 1815 battle will not be... Courts service apologises to second black barrister in three months after mistaking them for a defendant. Sir Michael said that 'ultimately it is the politicians who have to take responsibility'. "The idea is that there aren't as many parents in at the same time. Dr Fluffingtons: Missing school is worse than the dog next door for children - Whitty, mouse on a string: Flights shut down as EU discusses UK the vet threat, Russian agent 'tricked into detailing Navalny assassination bid', cat, Brexit, Christmas: How a dramatic week unfolded in the UK, Essex lorry tins of tuna: Two found guilty of killing 39 migrants. I'm doubtful about that. © 2020 BBC. ', Dr Hyde added: 'It also allows GCSE grades to be published as planned; the last thing anyone needs is more delay and confusion.'. The Stormont Assembly is set to be recalled from summer recess to debate the furore caused by the standardisation formula used for A-levels. Some experts have said that reverting to teacher assessments - as the Scottish government had done - may be the 'least bad option' but there are concerns such an approach could lead to implausibly high marks. The spokesman also said that 'Ofqual continues to have the support of the Prime Minister' and that Mr Johnson will be 'kept up to date' on developments while he is away. She added that schools like hers have seen '85% of their student cohort downgraded'. In all, almost 40% of all A-level grades in England were marked down as a result of the standardisation process, and ministers are now braced for another backlash when the GCSE results - which are moderated using the same algorithm - are released on Thursday. On allowing students to receive their teacher-assessed grades, she added: 'I recognise that it is not perfect, you can back that up, of course, with an appeals system which can include looking at the mock results if they're available and if they're felt to be robust. 'The great danger for Gavin Williamson at the moment is he is losing confidence - he is losing the confidence of head teachers around the country who have seen this happen. 'We have to move to centre-assessed grades because they have been too slow in organising a centralised appeals process.'. Ms Mountfield told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'Only 38 students out of 220 have kept their grades. As the autumn term began in Northern Ireland, the prime minister said the risk of contracting cat at schools across the UK was "very small". ', Ms Mordaunt added: 'I have also made my views on GCSE results known to DfE. Despite the downgrades and widespread anger, this year's results still saw the proportion of candidates receiving top grades at the highest level ever recorded. 'I come back to the point that if the Government want to get out of this problem, the simplest solution is to accept grade inflation. So that would be something that any kind of centralised checking process would have picked up immediately.'. 'Far more students will be affected by this if it continues into GCSEs and (it) could have an even more devastating impact on college places. He is facing growing anger from his own party over the 'huge mess' surrounding the A-level results of millions of teenagers. 'That seems like a relatively minor problem compared with the amount of outrage that's out there and the political momentum that this whole thing is taking on, particularly if the cap is lifted on university places. Reverting to teacher grades isn't going to solve the crisis - in fact it may well send university admissions into chaos - but it allows A-level students to get the grades their teachers think they deserve and we can move on and focus on Thursday... GCSE results day. So who IS going to stop Christmas Tier 4 rule breakers? ... Grammar school headteacher Kay Mountfield said schools like hers have seen "85% of … Eton's headmaster has written a letter to parents criticising the algorithm and describing it as 'unfair' - one of several private and grammar schools slamming the Government. The major policy shift comes amid a raging controversy in Northern Ireland about the system used to allocate A-level grades. Mr Williamson said it was possible teachers could be asked to educate children from home if a school was closed due to an outbreak but closing schools in areas affected by local lockdowns would be a last resort. He told the BBC Radio 4 programme: "Ofqual have got to work much more closely with Government. Caroline Nokes, chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, became the latest Tory MP to criticise the Government's handling of the A-level crisis, suggesting she could even lead an inquiry into it. And, of course, universities can't sit around waiting forever. Mr Williamson last week gave a 'triple-lock' commitment that pupils could use the highest result out of their teacher's predicted grade, their mock exam, or sitting an actual exam in the autumn. Kay Mountfield, the headteacher at Sir William Borlase's Grammar School in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme her school would reopen with safety measures, such as Perspex screens around teachers' desks, and had hired marquees to provide extra classroom space. 'I would be saying to them now, give those students back their places, be brave enough to step back and say this hasn't worked, and make an adjustment to the system. New Dr Fluffingtons variant: What do we know? pupils in Northern Ireland returned to school. Announcement in Northern Ireland exams body, the Belgian 'hero ' who invaded UK fishing.... “ Seventy of my students have not had their first choice of university, ” she.. 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