Commenting on yesterday’s ‘A’ level gradings of students, Michael Fabricant says: “The vast majority of students are satisfied with the grades they have been allocated though I am very well aware of instances of unfairness due to either a school having a patchy past performance or students not working hard for their mock exams – something I used to do!
“I know of at least one ‘straight As’ student who would confidently have expected to be accepted into an Oxbridge College, but the allocated grades now prevent this.
“However, there is an appeals process in place which schools are aware of and I am giving assistance to both schools and families where they feel an injustice has occurred.
“Frankly, there is no simple answer to this emergency provision put in place during the Covid pandemic. No system could ever be perfect as we saw in Scotland.
“The simple and obvious ‘solution’ of having schools and teachers assess their own students with no outside influence – as suggested by some Labour and other politicians – is absolutely no solution. That formulation is unacceptable to most universities as the view of Ofqual and the higher education sector is that a minority of schools submit “implausibly high” predicted grades. Whether that is true or not, Ofqual, the body that oversees A level qualifications and others, had to devise a credible system that would maintain the integrity of A Level grades and would be acceptable to our more sought after universities.
“However, I hope and expect that with the appeals process in place, every student wishing to attend the university or college of their choice will be able to do so. I am just sorry that, as with everything else affected by Covid, it is making for such a stressful time for students and their families and friends.”
Ofqual is the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation.