Don’t rush to evaluate faculties on decrease GCSE grades, headteachers’ union warns

Don’t rush to evaluate faculties on decrease GCSE grades, headteachers’ union warns


he faculties watchdog has been urged to not “rush to judgments” after this yr’s GCSE outcomes, that are anticipated to fall in comparison with file highs in 2021.

Pupils throughout England, Wales and Northern Eire will obtain their grades on Thursday, after sitting exams for the primary time because the pandemic.

Equally to the sample with A-level outcomes, printed final week, it’s anticipated grades will drop under final yr, however stay above these from 2019.

Ofsted and Regional Faculties Commissioners mustn’t rush to judgments on faculty efficiency this yr, says ASCL (Ofsted/PA) / PA Media

The Affiliation of College and School Leaders (ASCL) mentioned outcomes out this week are more likely to be “uneven” throughout completely different faculties and areas, and mirror the “turbulent circumstances” of the pandemic.

ASCL normal secretary Geoff Barton appealed to varsities watchdog Ofsted to bear these elements in thoughts.

He mentioned: “Faculties and pupils have been affected to various extents by the pandemic and the ensuing disruption to studying, and it’s possible that outcomes will mirror these turbulent circumstances and shall be uneven.

“The place an infection charges have been excessive throughout the final two years, it’s more likely to have resulted in additional employees and pupil absence, along with the durations by which faculties had been closed to most pupils.

“Regardless of one of the best efforts of faculties to assist pupils with distant schooling and to plug studying gaps, this example will inevitably have had an affect on studying.

“Faculties haven’t been helped by the Authorities’s lacklustre and chaotic assist for schooling restoration.

“It is very important perceive this yr’s outcomes in school and pupil stage on this context and we might urge Ofsted and Regional Faculties Commissioners particularly to not rush to judgments.”

Alan Smithers”>

A spokeswoman for Ofsted mentioned: “We don’t base our judgments on examination outcomes, take a look at scores or different information.

“We use information, in context, as a place to begin for our discussions with faculty leaders about what they’re instructing kids and the way they’re working their faculty.”

Final yr, the proportion of GCSE entries awarded high grades surged to an all-time excessive after exams had been cancelled for the second yr in a row attributable to Covid-19 and college students had been as a substitute given outcomes decided by their lecturers.

General, 28.9% of UK GCSE entries had been awarded one of many high grades, up by 2.7 proportion factors on 2020.

In 2019, when exams had been final held, solely a fifth (20.8%) of entries achieved no less than a seven or an A grade.

Whereas conventional A*-G grades are utilized in Northern Eire and Wales, in England these have been changed in with a 9-1 system, the place 9 is the very best.

A 4 is broadly equal to a C grade, and a seven is broadly equal to an A.

One schooling knowledgeable has predicted that, consistent with the transfer again in direction of pre-pandemic grading, there might be some 230,000 fewer high grades within the UK in contrast with 2021, however 230,000 greater than 2019.

Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Training and Employment Analysis on the College of Buckingham, mentioned he anticipated high grades to fall, with extra pupils failing and a slight narrowing of the ladies’ lead over boys.

Mr Barton mentioned these pupils who’re disenchanted with their outcomes needs to be suggested “to not panic however to talk to their lecturers in regards to the vary of choices obtainable to them”.

He added: “There are lots of glorious programs in faculties and sixth types which is able to swimsuit their aspirations and pursuits.”

A Division for Training spokeswoman mentioned: “College students who accumulate outcomes on Thursday may have one of the best vary of choices obtainable to them – whether or not it’s learning an thrilling new T-level, incomes whereas studying on an apprenticeship, or taking A-levels – they are often reassured that no matter their most popular vacation spot, faculties, faculties and employers are conscious of the grading preparations this yr and are adapting accordingly.”

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