Teachers’ grades to replace exams instead of algorithms following 2020 disaster

Amongst the lockdown chaos in Summer 2020, students across the UK were unsure as to what was happening with exams and grading as pupils could not attend school.

Back to square one this January, and it has been decided that Teachers’ estimated grades will replace cancelled GCSE’s and A-Levels in England this summer.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told MPs he would “trust in teachers rather than algorithms”, a reference to the problems with the exam results last year.

Summer 2020 saw uproar across the country as the algorithms that had been created to give ‘accurate’ grades for students, ended up favouring private schools where students got top marks, over state schools where the marks were considerably lower across the board.

Mr Williamson also said it would be “mandatory” for schools to provide “high-quality remote education” of three to five hours per day.

He said Ofsted inspectors would check that this was delivered.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson spoke about cancelled exams this week and how the government plan to replace them.

Mr Williamson, in a statement to the House of Commons, said there would be “training and support” for teachers in estimating grades, “to ensure these are awarded fairly and consistently”.

Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers’ union, warned against repeating the “shambles” of last summer’s cancelled exam season.

He said rather than a “vague statement” of how exams would be graded, ministers should already have a system ready in place – and it was a “dereliction of duty” that it was not already prepared.

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