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Principal of Stamford Endowed Schools questions the A-level grading system

The 'A' Level exam results are out today, and our thoughts go out to students this year who have had their results decided for them - we wish them every luck in their future. But whilst in many cases there has been good news, some schools are questioning the validity of the whole marking process.

Ofqual reports that In England, 36% of entries had a lower grade than teachers predicted and 3% were down two grades. Locally, at Stamford Endowed Schools, Stamford, exam results showed 10% of entries received an A*, with 61% graded at A*-B, and 83% A*-C.

Yet despite these positive results, Principal, Will Phelan says:

“Our students – along with every student in the country – have endured an incredibly stressful few months, exacerbated by the announcement on Tuesday evening. Exams often bring worry and uncertainty for students, but this year the ability to influence their own fate has largely been taken out of their hands. The fact that they have achieved such strong grades – including some remarkable individual successes – is an indicator of just how hard they worked, and the effort that they have put in, throughout their A Level studies. These results, therefore, are not just a reflection of hard work, but of their maturity, in knuckling down to study right through their courses.

Will continues "There are serious questions to ask of the process that has been used to award grades this year. 50 of our results – 9% of entries - were awarded a grade that was lower than the grade achieved at mocks. It is very rare for any student to perform better in mocks than in the actual exam, so this is an indication that the grading system has not worked as it should have done, and we will be wholeheartedly supporting these students with their appeals".

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