OPINION

Exam praise for students but ministers have lessons to learn

Posted On 22 Aug 2020 at 12:12 pm

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the students across the city on their A level and GCSE results that have come out in recent weeks.

Pupils in Brighton and Hove have worked hard in really difficult circumstances.

Having schooling disrupted at such a crucial point in the academic calendar with a global pandemic and the stress of lockdown is unprecedented – and I think our students should be incredibly proud of their efforts.

On behalf of the Labour group of councillors, I want to say well done to each and every one of you – and we wish you the very best for the next exciting chapter of your lives.

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I also want to say a big thank you to the diligent school and college teachers and essential support staff who have gone the extra mile to support our young people through these turbulent few months. The work you do is vital, and you have our appreciation.

I’m really pleased to see that the government has recognised its mistakes in the initial moderation process for A level results and has changed course to ensure that students receive the grades predicted by teachers, schools and colleges.

I know how stressful it must have been for all the students across the city who saw their results initially harshly downgraded.

Around the country, nearly 40 per cent of A level grades were marked down by the national moderation process.

Those initial figures also seemed to indicate that inequality was baked into the system, as students from disadvantaged backgrounds had been disproportionately affected by downgrades – while students from independent and private schools saw top grades disproportionally rise.

I understand and shared in the frustration that pupils, parents and teachers across the city must have felt.

Something had clearly gone very wrong with the moderation process. That’s why we as the Labour Party lobbied the government to reverse its decision and trust teachers, schools and colleges to accurately grade their own students.

I hope that students are happier with their results now and can go on to achieve their ambitions.

Councillor Nancy Platts is the leader of the Labour opposition on Brighton and Hove City Council.

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