Exam results

There may be a row in England, as there has been in Scotland, over this summer’s GCSE and A level results.

The first thing to stress is the award of grades to students has nothing to do with Ministers and the government. Normally students take exams set by independent Examining bodies, advised and moderated by teachers, with all the work marked by teachers. The Exam body then awards grades based on the marks awarded, seeking to moderate standards between years. Ministers rightly do not get a say in any individual’s papers or marks, or in the decision each year on where to set the grade boundaries.

This year the decision was taken to abandon exams but to award grades and passes based primarily on teacher assessment of the individual’s course work and achievements at school in each subject. The Exam Boards will still moderate the results fed to them by each of the participating schools. There are issues over how this will be done.

If all worked well each school would come to a perfect judgement of each pupil it teaches, and across England this would produce a fair set of outcomes without moderation or adjustment. However, life is not that simple. The Examining Boards want the schools to ensure they have placed all their pupils in the right relative order to each other, reserving to themselves the ultimate right to decide how marks translate to grades awarded by the Examining Board. The Examining Boards are alert to the possibility that teachers will naturally see the best in their own pupils and might collectively mark up producing some grade inflation compared to previous years. They need , however, to be alert to other possibilities as well. For any individual pupil there is the danger of adverse marking if they planned to leave much of their study and revision to close to the exam and did not do so well in the early months of the course, or if their conduct and attitudes did not lead the teacher to see their academic strengths fully.

The toughest cases are for schools or subject teachers who are lifting standards year by year or lifting them for the first time this year who may encounter a general downgrade of their forecast results owing to the Exam Board wishing to moderate grades in relation to past experience at that school. There is also the unspoken danger that a school or subject area on the slide will secure more favourable outcomes than if their pupils had had to undertake the exam. The Independent Regulator is also involved in requiring Exam Boards to moderate standards.

Most people would agree it is better and fairer to let pupils sit exams and to have these marked by teachers at other schools to a prescribed marking scheme. In this CV 19 damaged year all involved will doubtless do the best they can to come to fair judgements, but there is likely to be more unhappiness both by some individuals and by some individual schools and teachers given the occasional rough justice which will be delivered. The good news is a student can appeal and can ask to sit a proper exam to improve their grade.

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142 Comments

  1. DOMINIC
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Another article on education by another Tory MP that fails to attack the teaching unions and their poisonous, destructive, self-interested presence. The same can be said of the health unions and their project to promote the interests of the NHS while relegating the interests of the patient

    Grades will be massaged upwards or indeed downwards depending on the aims and objectives of the extreme left that now run the State education system and to which Mr Redwood and his Tory colleagues including his leader, PM Johnson

    You’ll ignore parents but embrace hard left unions and activists like Stonewall. That’s the modern Tory party. Utterly petrified of exposing the poison of the left across our nation for fear of being attacked by the hard left

    Your party’s brutally betrayed the nation, betrayed the patient, betrayed the pupil, betrayed our culture, abused the taxpayer and sacrificed our freedoms to protect the Tory party in your game to submit to the ever increasing power of the left and their organisations whose vocal and aggressive racial and gender activism that appear to have now infected this entire nation

    Well done. I hope the Tories are content with their appalling behaviour to save their own skins

    • Adam
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      If you feel a victim of what goes wrong, does any party attract your support?

      • Syd
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        I don’t see Dom’s words as those of a Victim.
        He is exposing and being critical about a situation that exists, but remains hidden from the view of the majority.
        I would be interested in his answer to your question however.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        The problem is that when issues are drawn attention to by such a party, the media and government first ignore it then pretend they’re going to do something about it. Exhibit A is the EU. Exhibit B is boat people. Nothing concrete actually happens, but people’s natural optimism means they believe those who say they will. Time and time again.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          lessons will be learned from what we have heard from you

      • Longus
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        There isn’t a credible centre right/right/patriotic party to vote for, just shades of socialism/globalism.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      “Fails to attack teaching unions” means “fails to attack teachers”.

      Well, they’ve gone for the scientists, NHS clinicians, any economist worth their salt and for the rest.

      But who else do you expect to teach our young?

      Retired squaddies and driveway tarmaccers, it appears

      • Fred H
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        as I suspected all along – you support the notion of ‘ different class of citizen’. Can they have a vote on their future, or do you insist they must be too thick?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 11, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

          What has that bizarre assertion to do with my comment?

          Who, apart from teachers, are instantly suitable to teach?

          • Fred H
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            you write ‘But who else do you expect to teach our young? Retired squaddies and driveway tarmaccers, it appears.’

            Indicates to the reader your dismissive attitude to people. You may not be aware, but due to Blair’s ‘education.. etc’ the country has current ‘degree qualified’ doing all manner of menial jobs. That driveway labourer may be smarter than you! Possibly could teach better than many of the current lot, and not be workshy.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

            Seems that I was correct in my original supposition, doesn’t it?

          • Fred H
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

            an attempt to dodge – but failed!
            My assertion seems to be correct.
            30-15 – your serve?

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      “Your party’s brutally betrayed the nation, betrayed the patient, betrayed the pupil, betrayed our culture, abused the taxpayer and sacrificed our freedoms to protect the Tory party in your game to submit to the ever increasing power of the left and their organisations whose vocal and aggressive racial and gender activism that appear to have now infected this entire nation”

      ** Dominic does have a point! Its hard not to agree. It certainly looks this way. The left seem to have far too much control. Especially the likes of Stonewall in our schools.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Yes!

  2. Mick
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    I see that the teachers unions are steering up trouble still with demands for there leftists coffers contributors , it’s quite easy to sort out if you don’t work you don’t get payed

  3. Mark B
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I do not believe that CV19 damaged this year, Sir John. It was government and State ineptitude. Failure to plan and learn from Operation Cygnus. Failure to scrutinise both the advice given and the advisors. Failure to stand up to a bullying French President. Failure to calm a population that was increasing being fed Fake News by a craven and irresponsible media. Failure to set clear and sensible policies and goals. And I could go on.

    No Sir John these young people, some of whom may have had their lives blighted by this tragedy, should not look to a virus as the root of their ills, but a government and a PM that has never met, let a lone passed, it’s best.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      I wonder if the NHS is ready for a bubonic plague outbreak?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        Ha! Yes…even now wending it’s little way from China, red spotted handkerchief on the end of a stick.
        Well at least it will get a warm welcome here!
        Can you begin to imagine the FUSS?

        • Everhopeful
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

          ****its
          I did get an edukayshun! I think!
          iPad did not!

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          My comment wasn’t tongue-in-cheek. I emailed Boris on the subject this morning. (He’s an historian, so should know something about the Plague of Justinian.)

      • agricola
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        Medically I think they would continue to do their very best. Administratively they would still be found wanting. However we probably have drups that could see off bubonic plague.

      • NigelE
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        @Sea Warrior.
        Of course they are: close all hospitals and transfer the sick to care homes.

        It’s a proven strategy.

      • longus
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Yes, providing stocks of antibiotics hold out.

    • M H
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      👏🏻👏🏻 Mark B

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Went unelected Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte locked down a couple of towns in Lombardy I thought it was crazy. When he did it to the whole country I thought he’d lost his marbles.

      Without any real evidence that Covid 19 was any worse than flu the rest of Europe followed, apart from Sweden. I don’t count information from the Chinese Communist Party as real evidence.

      Watch this interview on YouTube

      Swedish Covid-19 chief Anders Tegnell – Unherd Lockdown TV

      Anders Tegnell – more brains the all the members of Sage combined.

      • Richard
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        And despite “Only 12% of ‘Covid19 deaths’ list Covid19 as cause” – Prof Walter Ricciardi, scientific adviser to Italy’s minister of health

  4. Adam
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Exams work if they measure performance accurately and achieve failures, because results need to distinguish entrants who succeed.

    Owing to circumstances, on this occasion it is the measurement which is inclined to fail. Even so, comparable standards often vary.

    Once an A was highest, then it was superseded by A*. Now even that is below best.

    • Andy
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      An A* is the best. Except in subjects with numbers. Old people like to claim exams are not what they used to be. The reality is that young people are just better educated today than the Baby Boomers were.

      (Cue outrage from those who got 2 O Levels. Your education might have been different front theirs. But their education is better than yours. Do not confuse what you have learned in the 50+ years since school with what you knew then).

      • Fred H
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        point taken. You do however regularly demonstrate a large lack of knowledge so it is not fitting to criticise.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Rubbish. A-levels and GCSEs have been dumbed-down, which is why so many university courses have to devote first-year time to bringing their students up to the level that used to be the norm. The fact that it’s possible to get into university with a single ‘E’ tells us everything we need to know about modern standard.

        • Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

          My fifteenth year of life in the 1960s was made ghastly by Maths (the O levels to be taken were Maths and Additional Maths). Nine periods a week were given to Maths (there were seven periods in a day) and there was Maths prep, homework, twice a week. It was at this time that I found the words ‘Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof’ helpful.

          This memory, which is off topic or at a tangent (!) is stimulated by Lifelogic’s comment below.

          • Fred H
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

            I loved maths – took Pure early, then Applied with the other subjects – and some of us had a few months to tackle Additional. How much was useful, and what do I remember about calculus – not a lot.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Well, I have been helping my daughter with Maths, Further Maths and Physics A level past papers this years and certainly the questions are far simply than the ones I sat. Just go back and compare Maths and Physics papers from say 1970/1980 to the ones of today. It is easy to do in Maths and Physics. Much more hand holding through the questions too as they take people through step by step. Many more questions like what is X called – rather than testing- do they actually understand?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          Even the odd question that is just wrong, ambiguous or simply cannot be answered without further information (though you often know or can guess what they really want).

          So even some of the people setting the questions a bit simple it seems.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        The reality is that young people are just better educated today than the Baby Boomers were.

        Well, that is not my reality. Now, to some extent, it depends on how you define ‘education’. As a starting point one might say an education is designed to remove ignorance. If this might be considered a broad definition then I have to tell you that young people of my acquaintance have been failed by those who educated them because they are so ignorant of so many things it is actually embarrassing.

        We were having quiz meetings using Zoom when the lockdown first started. My generation – me, my wife, my brothers, their wives and assorted sons, daughters and cousins from the generation behind us. The younger generation had such low scores on some subjects, we (the older generation), when it was our turn to set the questions, started setting really easy questions. But, for example, many young people I know could not:

        Name the planets in our solar system and their order from the sun.
        Point to a particular country when looking at a map of the world. And, in many cases, when looking at a map of Europe.
        Tell you where a county in England is. ‘Where’s Staffordshire?’ – No idea.
        Tell you what Isaac Newton is famous for.
        Tell you anything about any historical figure.
        Recognise any famous painting.
        Explain why we have seasons.

        And on and on and on. All they seem to know about is the Kardashians and contemporary ‘culture’ – what passes for films etc. these days.

        I’d wager my 1960s grammar school education against any modern education. With the exception of the odd, exceptional person on University Challenge.

        As for current university education. I have had many graduates work for me who I would not trust to tie my shoe laces. Once upon a time a degree meant ‘this is a highly intelligent person who, as well as not being ignorant, is capable of original though’. Now it means – well, absolutely nothing.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 11, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

          They also know about social networks – who wears what, says what, campaigns for what! Generally know about the best locations for a stag-do, a drunken nightlife and fun-in-the-park. Recognise clothes, handbags, tech devices by logo, or design – compare notes on cost – one-upmanship boasting.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        So that’s why we have to import so many people to do our work.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        Funny then that the current generation can’t pass the exam papers set in the ‘50s and 60’s. Even the quizz shows on the TV have been dumbed down to a point well below ‘bored-blue’ to a baby-boomer.

  5. Sea Warrior
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    I’m unhappy that exams were abandoned so quickly. They should only have been postponed only. State schools would have then been under pressure to do a better job of keeping students busy during lockdown. Might I suggest – if OFSTED isn’t already doing this – that an audit is conducted of how schools have performed since March. The study could be restricted to the worst-performing schools – say, the bottom 10%. Armed with these audits, governors could then take appropriate action against any heads found to have been slacking.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      They haven’t been abandoned in Sweden and they have not suffered any worse by the virus.
      Good article in the Mail with every country wanting Sweden to fail but the opposite is true.
      Lockdown has made the situation worse.

  6. Andy
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    The bad news is that university applications will be decided on the basis of the grades imposed by examining boards, who have never actually met any of the students whose grades they are imposing. Course work is an unfair measure of achievement because course work was removed from being a consideration by Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings when they imposed their toxic reforms on schools.

    The imposition of grades will not harm students from posh public schools. The Eton boys will be fine. And, if they’re not, the next generation of Mogg’s, Farage’s and Johnson’s always have daddy to help. The Brexiteer elite will be fine.

    It is regular kids from regular schools who will suffer – further missing out on the few opportunities they would have been able to get.

    It is, however, interesting that Boris Johnson seems to consider reopening schools a ‘moral crusade’. Perhaps this most morally bankrupt of prime ministers should fix his own morals first before he crusades for others.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      If ‘regular kids from regular schools … suffer’ it will be because left-wing teachers haven’t done enough to fight-through the challenges brought on by this pandemic. What’s that old saying? Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.
      Off to your SWP stall with you.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

        A very silly saying

      • Andy
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        Unlike you I actually have children at school. I have seen teachers work harder than ever. Of course a few vulnerable teachers have not been able to be at school – this is understandable. Nobody should be forced to risk their lives at work no matter how much it might benefit the Brexiteers if they did.

        Incidentally, I am not a socialist. I am liberal conservative. The proper type of conservative that most of your party were before you sold out to the extremists and Faragists. I’d say the death toll and forthcoming GDP figures shows how well that’s working out for you.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the laugh.
          Andy says he is a conservative and a liberal !
          Funniest thing I’ve read on here for many years

        • Fred H
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          liberal usually means make up your views as you go along.
          On second thoughts that would be about right!

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          Do you therefore consider Gandhi & Mandela “extremists” for wanting for their citizens the same as Farage wanted for the British? The only people to oppose Freedom & Democracy are the Dictators of all colours who think they know what’s best for “the people” but without asking them.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 12, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

            Unlike the UK with the European Union’s forerunner, India and SA did not grovel to be allowed to join the British Empire, nor were they ever free, at all times, to leave it by a simple letter of notification.

            Your fatuous attempt at a comparison is just that.

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          Ah. But yours is private schooling, I believe.

          You mentioned this before.

          The teachers next to me spend every day taking their kids out. Good parents but I suspect bad teachers.

        • Richard1
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          You must be joking. With a few honourable exceptions many schools in the state sector have provided virtually no teaching or even support for home study through the lockdown. It has been a scandal and a disgrace. In the private sector on the other hand, in all the schools I’m aware of, teachers have amazingly run the normal timetable through video links.

          There is not a single case of a child giving the Wuhan plague to a teacher. The idea that teachers are at any greater risk than any other group of workers is nonsense. We just hear more about it as they are ‘represented’ (not really in fact) by left wing unions.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

          Nobody should be forced to risk their lives at work no matter how much it might benefit the Brexiteers if they did.

          I used to work as a tunnel engineer. That seems a lot more like ‘risking my life’ than going to school.

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          “Nobody should be forced to risk their lives…”

          Yup. It’s frickin’ lethal out there. People dropping like flies.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

          ‘The proper type of conservative that most of your party were before you sold out to the extremists and Faragists.‘
          😂😂 ever heard of Margaret Thatcher?

      • ukretired123
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Sea Warrier Excellent response to nonsense – Bullseye!

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          No-one said we can’t have fun here too!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      You regularly write that you have children and that you are hopeful for their future.

      My children’s teachers. at state school, do not reflect that regular kids from regular schools will be missing out. I do not think that the teachers did as much online as could have been done during lockdown, paying lip service and setting coursework rather than teaching, but their approach to my daughter’s exams have been exemplary since the beginning of the school year.

      Criticism where due and praise too, I am hopeful of a fair outcome for my state school educated daughter.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      The Gove-Cummings reforms have been excellent. Standards in schools have improved markedly and the free school movement has been a triumph – as we see from the demand for them and from their relative performance. But of course there’s still lots more to be done.

      Bad luck, you’re on the losing side of this one as well.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      I wonder if members of the teaching Unions have been going to pubs, crowded beaches, garden parties…

      We know they’ve been going to shops.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Gove’s education reforms were great. In my area the free schools created by them are massively popular with parents and have much fairer admission criteria – and hence diversity of pupils – than the local state schools which use religious criteria to screen their intake. The fact they are unpopular with middle-class lefties dripping with white privilege like you and the hard left teaching unions is also a positive.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        I was sorry to see Gove move from Education.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely. great point

    • agricola
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Still the bile , envy, and nastiness. You must be a very unhappy person being wherever you are or being in the UK at all.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      And, if they’re not, the next generation of Mogg’s, Farage’s and Johnson’s always have daddy to help.

      And the reason for the apostrophes in Moggs, Farages and Johnson?

      The Brexiteer elite will be fine.

      I am glad you recognise us as ‘elite’. Fair play to you. It took a while but you got there in the end.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    In my experience many teachers are quite bad at judging grades tending to let their personal feeling get in the way often judging neatness, reliability and niceness rather than ability to do exams. A levels would probably be better judged purely from GCSE level results in similar subjects than from the teachers views. Had it happened to me I would have been in a rather a bad position as I missed all my mock A levels with a viral infection.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      Judged using actual GCSE marks that is not just the grades.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Personally I have misgivings about teachers awarding grades.
      My twin daughters at the Holt 30 years ago had predicted grades at A levels which they and we, the parents, disputed. That of course seriously affected university offers.
      The results were higher grades in 5 of 6 exams sat! One child got an AAB, thus enabling a better UNI offer.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      I struggled with A levels (exam based) but did much better with my BTEC (course based.)

      The BTEC was basically open-book – I didn’t need any retention of knowledge, just a dogged willingness to complete neat assignments. To be fair on myself I went to a really bad school in a deprived area with high crime rates.

      Do I consider myself as capable as contemporaries who sailed their A levels ?

      No.

  8. Dave Andrews
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    No need to close the schools down in the first place. We’re looking at schools resuming next month with the nature of the Covid-19 danger exactly the same as when the schools closed down.
    The way ahead is to drill the children in infection control procedures and continue classes. The only children that should be taken out of school are the ones who refuse to practise health and safety.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      The problem is not getting the pupils back into school, it’s getting the teachers back.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        exactly — 6 weeks paid holiday was always great, we are getting towards 6 months…

  9. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    My daughter is caught up in the waiting this year.

    During the January post mock exam parents’ evening it was explained to us (in certain subjects, not all) that the teacher expected pupils to manage a two point grade increase given diligence in the subject between the mock and the real exam. This was the school average in previous years.

    The process for awarding GCSE and A Level grades has been peer reviewed in the school with a committee looking at awards in light of both the school and the pupil.

    I was heartened by the school’s approach and expectant of accuracy and fairness, my daughter felt aggrieved that in her two highest performing subjects her grades would not reflect her ability as the mock covered themes not yet covered in the course.

    There is no perfect system to allocate grades without a final exam, yet I remain hopeful that my daughter’s school (who have been poor and impersonal in delivering education during the lockdown) will get this right.

    People always feel hard done by and little darlings are always thought better than they actually are.

    The thing to remember is that this cohort will be measured against this cohort for university places so as long as they are all treated the same the playing filed is level.

  10. formula57
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Exam results have hitherto lacked credibility with more than a few third parties and now they will lack credibility with examinees. Progress along a self-destructive curve for the exam bodies I suppose.

  11. Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    How can these ‘exam results’ possibly be comparable to those of other years – It’s something of a farce TBH — The exams will show possible potential, but not knowledge gained or understood.

    The pupils should be allowed to take the whole year again, not being mixed in with those a year behind, but as special advanced classes for the subjects to be examined. Done intensely the pupils could then take a proper exam in the winter.

  12. agricola
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Your last sentence suggests to me that perhaps the examinations should not have been cancelled. Running a series of exams would have been easier ref all the Covid19 restrictions than running the whole school. Said because exams only apply to about 20% of the school population and this figure would be broken into subject groups over a period of time.

  13. Alison
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Why didn’t the system organise marking of sample course work by the people who would have been marking exam scripts? use that as a proxy, at least part proxy, for actually sitting the exams?

  14. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Perhaps I am being a bit dim but what is wrong with universities offering places based on the mock results, whilst offering all students the opportunity to take the examinations during that first year at university, to prove their expectations were correct..

    Good grief nothing is set in stone with a set timetable with set dates for examinations/results, students have had months to do research at home (something they will need to do as standard if they go to university) because that is the way life is at University, very few hours are spent in a classroom or lecture hall, hence my belief that such education nowadays is poor value for its cost.

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    I see that Damien Green has an article in the telegraph today:- Retirement home boom can save young and old alike. More specialist housing would be a boon to over-65s and unblock the market for millennials.

    I cannot see much sense in what he says myself all that is needed is more properties or all types or fewer people. Houses restricted to certain categories means they tend to fetch less on resale as you restrict the market . Many retirement home developments are fairly appalling places to live. I would advise people to avoid leaseholds or anything with maintenance companies, age occupancy restrictions the likes myself.

    He also says:- “In his excellent book The Pinch, my colleague Lord Willetts sets out the provocative argument that baby boomers have broken the intergenerational ­contract”

    I find the Lord Willetts’ agenda rather wrong headed, daft and misguided too even if he does have two brains. Both read PPE at Oxford it seems.

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Since we now know that school is of absolutely zero importance in the face of a virus and that teachers can wrap the govt around their little fingers …who cares?
    ( In recent years I have been shocked by tales of “teacher training” and what goes on in the staff room nowadays). But then again…who cares …certainly not the liberal lefty govt.
    The kids will get to “uni”(yuk!) on the back of course work and weepy stories of “disadvantage”. Degree ditto. So what is the point?
    Oh yes…and then there will be the question of jobs for the graduates!
    Might as well send them down the mines and be done with it.
    Oh….no mines. Tesco delivery then??

  17. jerry
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    To be honest, and this will not please quite a few I suspect, but I suspect this years the ‘exam’ results will be a better reflection of a students ability & understanding of the subject – Some HE subjects and courses are predominantly constituently assessed via course-work these days for that reason.

    Formal exams are woefully over rated, even more so when ‘standards’ can be raised simply either through rote learning (the teacher knowing broadly what is expected by the exam board) or by the exam board dumbing down their sat exam papers – the UK has needed a better system for years, perhaps Covid-19 will force one upon us.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      I would suggest that some (many) HEIs use coursework instead of exams to raise marks. A particular case is that of group coursework on which there is published evidence that the lower performing students achieve increased marks and the higher students less – there are averaging and motivating effects. There are also survey results that top performing students would, on average, prefer individual work and examinations, without these they have less motivation to strive for excellence, it is these students that can pull a nation forward. Coursework also leads to many hours of supposed discipline time being given up to so-called academic skills and academic integrity i.e. how to cheat/plagiarise/purchase work without getting caught.

      There is also strong evidence that frequent (low but finite summative weight, not formative) testing (which can cover everything to date and to come) is associated with more learning – comparing test results and marking schemes being more effective than formative feedback. In the case of rote learning, it is clear that reaching automaticity at one level reduces cognitive load for tackling higher levels.

      Tests and examinations can be written to be very discriminating, in the case of coursework the discrimination is often too convoluted with the marker/mark scheme – it is oddly not student centred. Weaker students do however complain about discriminating exam questions (e.g. those that draw on several parts of a module).

      (Some institutions prefer coursework as it transfers the planning requirements for SEN students from central administration to depts/faculties. Intermediate approaches such as giving a timed essay title out 1 or 2 days before the closed assessment can run into problems.)

  18. JoolsB
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    If only the Government hadn’t caved into the unions at the first hurdle and insisted students go back to school, they could have taken their exams as normal. Even now all we get from appeaser Boris is ‘they have a duty to get all students back to school by September’ Is that it? What a disappointment Boris has turned out to be. It’s not too late though – he could grow a backbone and TELL teachers to be back in the classrooms by September or don’t bother.

    Another failure of this Government has been to guarantee the bloated public sector full wages and job security throughout the virus unlike the wealth cresting private sector of course. Why on earth should they be in any hurry to get back to work?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      +1

  19. Caterpillar
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Schools should not be appealing they should have been demanding that examinations took (and take) place. The examining bodies and Secretary of State for Education failed in not simply reducing the number of papers to reduce student density e.g. schools will have had 3 slots booked for GCSE maths papers, this could (should) have been reduced to (3 versions of) 1 paper to allow 1/3 of students to sit at the same time. Indeed cancelling some subjects at GCSE to just allow mathematics and English papers (additional papers could have been written) to go ahead would have been sensible.

  20. Iain Gill
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    pointless post John.

    exam appeals process is already heavily biased in favour of the public schools and top state schools where the pushy head teachers and parents have become very skilled over the years at the appeals process and generally end up getting most of their children bumped up a few grades. which only further disadvantages the working class families who hardly ever appeal.

    if you had nothing sensible to say you should have stayed silent. “its nothing to do with government” is a lame line of defence, as like most “arms length” public bodies the evidence of puppet masters pulling strings is clearly visible.

    this whole episode stinks. and will most badly impact the poor kids who are brighter than their teachers realise, their one chance of escape from a state imposed doom laden sink estate and sink school has been dashed.

    I’m broadly Thatcherite, and I would not defend any of this.

  21. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    1 Exams could have been taken with social distancing. We had good weather. No obstruction to doing this outside.

    2 Teaching could have been happening split between village halls, other unused spaces and outside. We’ve had good weather.

    Any problems have been caused by uncreative teachers, the unions and the government.

  22. Al
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    The biggest problem with this is the failure to double-blind the work. Instead of work being sent to other schools, teachers are marking their own pupils, which means they know who they are marking by things like handwriting and writing style.

    In some cases this will also mean they are marking their own children’s work. In others that personal knowledge of the pupil or a feud with a parent could lead to distorted grades. And as it is well known that there is a trend for boys to do better on exams and girls on coursework (reported in sources as varied as the Guardian and Telegraph, and taken from GCSE figures) half the takers of this years’ qualifications are losing the part where they pick up their best marks.

    The option to take exams if the pupil is not happy with their assessed grade must be present, as should precautions to ensure coursework is marked double-blind if a student’s entire grade rests on it. Otherwise the grade is a nonsense.

  23. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Loads more boats. Loads more freeloaders. Loads more houses needed – just for them. Loads more on OUR bills – just for them. Loads more NHS delays as they need translators, so less time for us. Loads more demands that WE change to THEIR culture, with thinly veiled threats for our non compliance. The UK govt has to be the worst of all time. Looks after illegals better than the people born and bred here, who are taxed and taxed, just to give illegal invaders a free life. People work for years – to get less pension than illegals who contribute nothing.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Agree. Nothing is being done to stop them invading our space except fart talk. They are not refugees. No-one forced them to take to the sea. The fart talk is about making the crossing ‘unviable’. What the hell does that mean, nothing. A politician is saying we can’t push them back because that would mean entering French waters and we can’t do that. Obviously he’s happy they enter ours. Can anyone do that then without being stopped? Answer, clearly yes.

      What is being said is we can’t protect our borders and we are too afraid and unwilling to try.

      What kind of government is that? Weak, derelict.

      And Priti Useless was in Dover on ‘a private visit’ apparently. More bloody nonsense. We must not allow them to get away with any of this.

    • Nigl
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Good to see some positive suggestions about what to do about it. Easy sitting at a computer venting your anger for all to see. You will achieve zero. How does that make you feel? If it is any consolation I do feel sorry for you.

    • beresford
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      On Sky News now…. Boris Johnson warns migrants against crossing. He says ‘It is a very bad and stupid thing to do’. Seriously?

      Why does every politician interviewed express concern for the safety of the migrants and none for the British people they represent? People die from misadventure around our coasts and waterways every day, why is the death of a foreigner in the course of committing a crime more important than the death of an indigenous citizen?

      • Fred H
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        ‘Boris Johnson warns migrants against crossing. He says ‘It is a very bad and stupid thing to do’.

        obviously badly written. Should have read-
        ‘Boris Johnson warns ELECTORATE against crossing his GE box. He says ‘It is a very bad and stupid thing to do’.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      If I were Nigel Farage I’d convert, and express, the arrivals totals into housing requirements. ‘Yesterday, a hamlet’s worth of immigrants arrived on the South Coast. So far this week, a village’s worth have come. The total this year is a town the size of XXXX.’
      I see that the RAF put up a TRANSPORT aircraft today, in an effort to make Patel’s ‘play-fighting’ less obvious. The TRANSPORT aircraft would have been better employed flying the newly-arrived back home.

      • agricola
        Posted August 11, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

        The RAF probably chose an aircraft that hadn’t at the time anything better to do. Personally I would use drones with visual and position monitoring that could be fed go the border force. Get some useful practise before they are needed to monitor French and other fishing boats..

    • Andy
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      On the plus side – it is brilliantly funny that we have left the EU and the number of Channel migrants has skyrocketed. At least we can laugh at Brexit and Brexiteers. Thank you for that.

      In the meantime have any of you got any solutions to Channel migration that are:
      1) Legal
      2) Don’t involve drowning people
      3) Don’t involve war with France

      You’re in charge now. It’s your problem and, frankly, you are doing an embarrassingly bad job of fixing it.

      • steve
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        Yeah –

        1 they enter illegally, so just send them back.

        2 nobody is suggesting anyone gets drowned.

        3 there will be conflict with France at some point either over fish theft or people dumping, but theirs will be the bloody nose, again.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        you should take up writing whacky stories for 7 year olds.
        You make us laugh so it ought to be a piece of cake for 7 year olds.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        Lucky you did not have to write any exams Andy, you have no recall Or comprehension. WE REMAIN UNDER THE EU UNTIL DECEMBER 2020 THANKS TO WRONGHEADED BORIS. HE ALSO GAVE THEM A £180billion incentive NOT to agree a trade agreement.

      • beresford
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        We are still under EU rules, though I agree that when this ends it will make little difference. The Australians solved this problem, why not put them in charge, understanding that a robust response is required which may involve some collateral damage. They faced down pseudo-legal objections, they are not at war with anyone as a result, and drownings in the Pacific have dropped to near zero.

      • agricola
        Posted August 11, 2020 at 5:24 am | Permalink

        It clearly demonstrates what a warped outlook you have. The number of migrant crossings say to me that these people are clearly voting with their feet, and paddles , to be in an independant sovereign state, the UK rather than your wonderful EU.

        As to solutions, yes. Cherry pick those that come, there may well be some talented people among them. The majority could be flown back to the country of entry to the EU, which is the legal point at which they should apply for assylum. Not the UK which is 1000 miles from where they landed in the EU.

        Plucking them from rubber ducks, as does our Border Force, would seem to answer your shallow point on drowning.

        We seem to have spent the last century plus bailing out France from the wars she got involved in. Nevertheless a silly comment unless you are talking fishing.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Well said Neil. I am truly disgusted with this useless government

      • steve
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        FUS

        Well as for me it’s highly doubtful I’ll ever vote conservative again.

        Scared of PC, woke, race card etc.
        Kowtowing to the French.
        Giving more rights and benefits to minorities than to the indigenous.
        Not promoting Gt Britain.
        Allowing England to be insulted by France, SNP, and RoI.
        Doing nothing to reign in the marxist BBC.
        Didn’t even try to abolish Blair’s Supreme anti-English court.
        Collaborating with the green lobby.

        Nah, total waste of space and money.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 11, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

          you do have to wonder if a.n.other could make a worst pigs-ear of everything?

    • Timaction
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      I received a letter from my MP, Mr Rees Mogg today about the boat people. It included a copy from Preti Useless. Lots of talk, lots of legal non sense. No senses of urgency or action. No expression of regret. Been in office for 10 years and it can’t be beyond the wit of man to have systems in place to remove these people promptly. Why have Torys not legislated to ensure all illegals will never gain leave to remain having broken the law to get here. France would return our illegals to us what stops us returning their problem? Do France give them the same level of accommodation, health, cash, food, pocket money, visits to PSG? I wonder what the pull factors are! Duh!

      • beresford
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        There is a device called ‘Totally Without Merit’ which was used by the Remainer Establishment to prevent the Robin Tilbrook case against May’s Brexit extension from receiving a hearing. Why can’t this device be used against bogus asylum claims? They have a right to make the claim and we have a right to summarily dismiss it on the grounds that there is no war or persecution in France.

  24. Posted August 10, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    In September, Relationships Education will become mandatory in all primary schools in England (both state and independent, so there will be no escape) and Relationships and Sexual Education will become mandatory in all secondary schools. The principal aim apparently is to promote the acceptance of LGBT lifestyles and identities and Ofsted has put this agenda at the heart of its school inspection regime; imagine, just one aspect, very small children will be asked what gender they identify with. This is straightforward abuse of children and in my view criminal. The aim of course is to destroy our society. This is the ineffable government we have got and we we would be better without state education entirely.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      I’ve read in infant and junior schools as well. My Grandchildren will be pulled from these hard left propaganda tools. Some Conservative Party pandering to woke PC cancel culture.

    • steve
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      Iago

      Well said.

      The way to counter this abuse is for parents to bring kids up to know what is natural, moral and healthy.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      +1 I hope the teachers remain out of the classrooms for good.

  25. Know-Dice
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    And getting back to migration from safe France…

    Pierre-Henri Dumont, the National Assembly member for Calais, told the BBC: “French authorities needed to monitor about 300 miles of coastline if they were to stop migrants launching small boats from French shores. ”

    This is a bit ingenuous, in reality one would only need to monitor 30 miles of coast around Calais & Dunkirk as this is the shortest route across. If migrants move to elsewhere it’s not “rocket science” to track them…

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps the French might like to check who’s making bulk-purchases of life-jackets.
      P.S. I really should go into Intelligence!!!

    • Know-Dice
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      But of course the French want them to move on to the UK so will they really help… I don’t think so…

    • steve
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Know Dice

      ….all the French have to do is round them up and send them back to their previous EU country as per EU rules. But no, they are deliberately dumping migrants in the UK. Been doing it for decades.

      This government will have to seriously consider turning the migrants back soon as they touch the maritime border. If not, electoral defeat will be certain.

      • graham1946
        Posted August 11, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        They put them on coaches and head for 4 star hotels (which even just a week ago when I raised it JR asked for proof as he thought Farage made it all up), so why not instead drive them straight on to a ferry to Calais?

        Reply I do not think Mr Farage made it all up. I had not seen the news item you referred to so needed to find it before posting. Quite often the news item is differently worded from interpretations from some people on this site!

    • beresford
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      One of the consequences of prolonged EU membership is that our politicians have become infantilised, used to every significant decision being made for them in Brussels while they play games in the House of Commons. Now we have a serious problem there is no statesman with the gravity of a Churchill, Thatcher, Turnbull or Orban to show the resolve necessary.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        Yes. The best, our host excluded, have avoided politics as there was really no work. We need to get that reversed ASAP.

  26. Sakara Gold
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Who told Gavin Williamson to say that there is no evidence that the Chinese plague virus spreads in schools? Was it the Russians?

  27. Caterpillar
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Basically, if the statistical adjustment has been based on one type of distribution +previous marks), then othervknown distributions should be checked to see they come out as expected. They should of course not be used as part of the original ‘fit’.

  28. Iain Gill
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I see nicola sturgeon has finally said sorry for the mess up with the Scottish exams.

    My prediction is that a UK minister will have to do the same, its pointless defending this mess, admit its wrong.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Probably the best way would have been just to cancel the results and to allow the universities to judge whom they wished to take on or not. This based on GCSE results, predicted grades and any other information they had. Or just to set the results based on GCSE mark in similar subjects.

      Certainly some bizarre grades given out in Scotland that seem to be totally wrong.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        The universities will take them all – it’s about turnover rather than education now.

  29. David Brown
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I think so long as the errors are corrected and marks realigned properly then it should be fine. Personally I prefer international baccalaureate rather than A levels and I don’t know why more schools don’t offer it. In my opinion its far superior to A levels.
    2 off subject comments if that’s ok.
    1. I see BP will stop all future oil exploration and focus on Hydrogen research, this will concur with vehicle manufacturers move to all electric cars so all carbon fuel cars will be obsolete, and I hope soon. National Express have announced they will never buy another Diesel Coach.
    2. A follow up comment about migrants, setting aside what can or will be done to reduce numbers. Is there any reason why those who do make it here cannot be told to do volunteer work for pocket money and accommodation -preferably in barracks rather than hotels until their application claim has been processed. By volunteer work I mean Agriculture – fruit and veg : scrub clearance : canal improvements: painting: – The list is endless, it seems to me that rather than just let them do nothing, give them max encouragement to volunteer – bit like Community Payback

    • Fred H
      Posted August 11, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      sounds like a chain gang without any minders. Just how many will stay at the canals, in the fields? You could have suggested motorway rubbish collecting – until the raised thumb gives them a free ride to wherever!

      • David Brown
        Posted August 11, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Fred, Oh no there needs to be minders just like the final example I gave of Community Payback.
        The real point here is to seek ways of ensuring these people dont simply sit around waiting for the application to be processed. At least they are doing some thing productive during the period of assessment.

  30. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I don’t subscribe online to the Telegraph but the headlines are saying there is to be a wealth tax on homes. Can anyone elaborate please.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      It is about extracting wealth from older people’s houses via stamp duty, inheritance tax and there is even a mention of an annual tax! No mention of how older people paid massive interest rates and that it isn’t their bl**dy fault govts caused house prices to soar.
      You really need one of the economic buffs to respond as I am illiterate in that direction. Sorry.
      Basically it is the Conservative’s suicide note.
      If they go down this path to pay for their filthy, berserk mismanagement that will be the end of them.
      And unless a new party miraculously appears and gets enough support I guess we are Venezuela!

      • hefner
        Posted August 11, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        It is really amusing to read all the contributors on this blog warning of the coming ‘suicide’ of the Conservative Party. In four years time, if no change has happened to the voting system (and I would bet none will come) the CP campaign will warn people of the Marxist threat, of the risks that a vote for TBP (or the latest version of UKIP or whatever fancy name it will hold at that time) might lead to a Labour victory. And guess what, like a nicely obedient flock of brainless sheep, all the s, Eh, FuS, et al. will vote for the CP.
        It will be as ridiculous a story as the one from a distinguished contributor telling us many times in the past weeks ‘no mask for me’ and then like a little doggy with its tail behind the legs, telling us (no self-esteem, it would seem) that, well, after all, they wore a mask when becoming a Queen’s subject. Says it all, doesn’t it? Please remind me, melted ones, who were you calling snowflakes?

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted August 11, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Isn’t council tax an annual tax on the value of my home?

        • Treacle
          Posted August 11, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

          Yes, and the more valuable your home, the less use you will make of public services, and the more you will pay.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 11, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      We already have endless wealth taxes. IHT at 40%, CGT on non real gains at 28%, 55% on your pension pot and many others too.

    • David Brown
      Posted August 11, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Seems to me if this was to be a Policy – the best option will be for older’s to quickly fast track Equity release and then have a party

  31. steve
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Nichola Sturgeon says she et al ‘got it wrong’

    In other words; what they got wrong was thinking they’d get away with it.

  32. Will in Hampshire
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Priti Vacant is proving to be Priti Useless on the cross-channel boats issue, I see.

  33. steve
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Seeing how this is drifting off topic I’d say illegal immigration aided by the French is foremost in people’s minds.

    This government needs to grow some balls and cease kowtowing to France.

    Prevent the migrants from crossing the maritime border, or send them back via the Channel Tunnel……IT’S THAT SIMPLE, JUST DO IT !

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 11, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      steve

      The French don’t ‘aid’ the immigrants, they just rightly say it’s OUR affair.

      We have a history of trying to have others solve our own problems for us hence our repeated policies in the past of pushing our own undesirables into our former colonies until stopped by them.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 11, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        so why do the French, and other countries in the EU, merely allow so called asylum seekers to enter their country but not register for residency and welfare? More than happy to pass the buck and let them move across more borders. Finally at Calais etc the French are very happy to look away while international traffickers fleece the economic migrants, provide a risky dinghy and point to Dover.

  34. Javelin
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I did brilliantly in my exams but was hopeless at coursework or mocks. It’s like changing the rules in the second half of a football match and retrospectively applying them to the first half.

  35. Posted August 11, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    This political class, that is all of those who pretend to work in Westminster on our behalf.

    Are in fact working very hard deliberately for the EU.
    There is no doubt about it, they are all Remainers, can anyone really still believe anything else.
    They are only hiding behind gross incompetent.
    Wake up England.
    Everything that they are doing is guaranteed to harm to this Country.

    The West is under attack every wear .
    If we do not Wake Up soon we will not even be a footnote in history

  36. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 11, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    The Scottish Education Secretary based his original decision on the supposition that average results for a single school are unlikely to change from one year to the next. That’s not an unreasonable assumption and, in over-ruling him, Nicola Sturgeon is playing politics. Surprise!

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 11, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Good point. I would have thought that each exam board would be able to issue a portfolio of pass grades to each school, for the teachers then to assign to the corresponding teacher assessments. But better than that would have been to have kept to the exam schedule. Two metres’ separation would have even prevented cheating!

  37. a-tracy
    Posted August 11, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I dislike teacher assessments alone. Favouritism, parental influence on teachers, parent governor relations (just check the internal assessment grades of parent governors children) just a teacher who takes against a pupils style of writing and bamb the grades deflate.

    I know some pupils from private schools are taking exams with other exam providers to prove their internally assessed grades stack up or can be improved. State school kids will suffer again over this.

    It’s ok saying you can appeal but by the time you do this and get answers the University year has started, grades are received mid-August, it takes months to get answers.

  38. Posted August 11, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

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