MP Gareth Thomas says some A-Level Students ‘let down’

The Harrow West MP believes many A-level students have been “let down” as 39 per cent of predicted grades were downgraded.
Gareth Thomas, the Labour MP for Harrow West, congratulated students receiving their results today (August 12) but said many opening their envelopes are likely to be let down by the downgrading seen from exam boards.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, A-level students were set to receive their predicted grades.
But exam boards downgraded nearly two in five (39.1 per cent) pupils’ grades in England, according to data from Ofqual – which amounts to around 280,000 entries being adjusted down after moderation.

Teachers were told to submit the grades they thought each student would have received if they had sat the papers, alongside a rank order of students, after exams were cancelled amid the pandemic.
Exam boards moderated these grades to ensure this year’s results were not significantly higher than previously and the value of students’ grades were not undermined.

In England, a total of 35.6 per cent of grades were adjusted down by one grade, 3.3 per cent were brought down by two grades and 0.2 per cent came down by three grades, figures from Ofqual show.
But overall, the proportion of entries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland awarded the top A* grade this year has surged to 9 per cent – the highest proportion since the top grade was first introduced in 2010.
Mr Thomas said: “As with every results day, today will be an anxious one for many thousands of students across Harrow and across the country. Sadly, this anxiety will be even greater due to a fiasco caused by the Conservative Government.
“I want to congratulate many of Harrow’s young people that have received the grades they deserve after working so hard. For all students, their closure of this important chapter in education has not been an easy one.
“Today across Harrow, however, there will be many pupils, maybe in my former school, Hatch End, or in Rooks Heath, Nower Hill, Whitmore, or Harrow College that will be opening their envelopes today to find grades which undermine their work and their potential. I hear you and I am sorry you have been let down.

“To echo my colleague, Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green, “Ministers must act urgently to correct the injustice faced by so many young people today. Students must be able to lodge their own appeals if they haven’t got the grade they deserved, and admissions teams must be forced to be more flexible. No student should see their dreams slip away because of this Government’s inaction.”

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