Statement on A-Levels and GCSE Results

Last week we had the results for the 2020 A-Level cohort, and this week we will see the results published for thousands of GCSE students.

I know all too well the power that a great education, delivered by fantastic teachers can provide students – with their own hard work – with decent grades so they can have the best start in life.

The results for A Levels last week have produced frustration, anger, upset and confusion to many students, parents and teachers across Hastings and Rye. I can completely understand that frustration – I too am frustrated for the students of our area who deserve better. Ofqual issued guidance on the appeals process using mock exam results, but then withdrew it. It is now reviewing its guidance on how to appeal against A-level and GCSE grades. Many students are in limbo as to what to do with the appeals process.

I am concerned that the same levels of frustration and confusion will be felt later this week when we see the results for GCSEs produced as well.

That is why I am today asking the Secretary of State for Education to use Teacher Assessments for the 2020 cohort of students who have been studying A-Levels and GCSEs.

We have lived through an extraordinary time since February this year, and as in all areas we as a Government need to take extraordinary action to mitigate against the long-term effects of Covid19. That is why we need to work with schools, colleges and universities to ensure that the 2020 cohort of students receiving their results at the moment are not disadvantaged by the health pandemic. Their education and future job prospects should not be impacted.

I will continue to lobby the Government to do the right thing now; if the OFQUAL algorithm and appeals process is not fit for purpose, we should instead opt for Teacher Assessments as the measure for results this year. Moreover, I want to see clear and robust appeals processes in place in time for the publication of the GCSE results, and I would also urge the Government to consider delaying the publication of GCSE results if a system isn’t in place in time.

Sally-Ann Hart MP