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A Level and GCSE Results 2020

Published Tuesday 29th of September 2020 02:58:13 PM

No one in their right-mind would have predicted the events of 2020 with the world going into quarantine because of COVID-19; the turmoil and heartache has been immeasurable. It is no surprise therefore, but nevertheless regrettable, that the publication of the GCSE and A Level examination results, which were never sat, has been chaotic. On Results Day I normally compare this year with preceding ones but that makes no sense at all; it is a shame that the powers that be didn’t recognise that and instead insisted that the grade profile for exams this year had to emulate those of previous years. There will be a great deal of debate about what went wrong and the validity of what was awarded but the bottom line is that, almost without exception, the children here, who had the opportunity of proving themselves in the exams taken away at the last moment, have worked like absolute Trojans over the last two years and deserved reward and recognition for all their efforts and ability. I, for one, wish to applaud them resoundingly and without caveat, for their achievements and the remarkable stoicism they have shown. We spent an inordinate amount of time calculating evidenced-based A Level and GCSE grades to submit to the Exam Boards. We had assumed we would be subject to intense scrutiny by Ofqual and, as such, made sure we could justify the awards with empirical data of past achievements: tests, exams, timed essays, coursework, Non-Examined Assessments etc. The Centre Assessment Grades we submitted were fully deserved. Inevitably, overall, they are in excess of previous years because there was no way to factor in those exam wobbles: those who fail to show their best in the exam hall for whatever reason. The Government should have recognised that, in insisting, and subsequently celebrating, that the results were ‘nationally within 2% of those of previous years’ that they would cause such unfairness and devastation. The last five months have been very tough indeed on everyone. Hopefully we can leave behind the rancour of the public exam results and rightly celebrate the remarkable efforts, abilities and stoicism of school children everywhere. Simon Williams Headmaster
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