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Essex Liberal Democrats

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How the Government's bodged A level grading automatically failed thousands of students

August 16, 2020 5:41 PM

Bar chart of A level grades 2020 by school type (Ofqual data via the BBC)Over 13,000 A Level students have been given a U (Fail) grade, under a random allocation by the Government formula/algorithm.

Every year, some students fail to turn up for their exam (or miss the point of the question) and so get a U. This year the Government said that, as some students get a U each year, a similar number had to this year, even though the "not turning up" issue didn't apply.

So someone HAD to be given a U - usually the student who "might" be bottom of the class based on previous assessments. And this has happened more often in places with "underperforming" schools.

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Ministers had five months to prepare for this but chaos has reigned since results days. Our young people deserve so much better from this Government.

This article explains more about the grading system; as does this statistical blog and this article explains how the algorithm just built unfairness on top of an already unfair system, and this article further explains the flaws in our current system.

The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) offered to help the Government check its algorithm in April, but they said no. And OFQUAL were warned in April to not take historic performance into account.

Stories of students marked down