Academy trusts have warned that pupils preparing to take their GCSEs and A-levels next year may not be ready to face pre-pandemic exam conditions. By Louisa Clarence-Smith, The Telegraph. The article quotes Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council (ISC).
Louise Simpson, head of Exeter School, writes to The Times reflecting on this year's exam results and asks whether a return to 2019 grading might be "too much, too soon". The letter can be found a quarter of the way down the page.
Robert Halfon, chairman of the Education Select Committee, has suggested that exam boards that failed to award vocational qualifications on time should refund the funding they receive from schools and colleges "if they don't get their act together". By Louisa Clarence-Smith, The Telegraph.
Researchers from the University of Sussex have suggested that unconscious bias in marking could be contributing to the underperformance of students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. The Telegraph.
The Observer reports on accusations that independent schools "gamed" the system last year, when teachers awarded grades. By Julie Henry. The article quotes ISC chairman Barnaby Lenon, who states: “Last year’s teacher-assessed grades were subject to rigorous quality checks. Exam boards found no evidence to suggest any type of school or college was more likely to have provided grades that did not reflect the standard of their students’ work.”
An article in The Sunday Times reports some single-sex independent schools have seen some of the biggest drops in top grades compared with last year. By Sian Griffiths, Laith Al-Khalaf and Venetia Menzies. Referencing the move to teacher-assessed grades during the pandemic, Dr Kevin Stannard, director of learning at the Girls' Day School Trust, said: "Teachers and schools met that challenge with integrity, seeking to ensure fairness between students. What they couldn’t do was ensure consistency between years.”
The Telegraph features an interactive table containing the A-level results data of a number of schools in membership of the ISC's constituent associations. By Alex Clark, Bruno Riddy and Louisa Clarence-Smith.
Robin Bevan, president of the National Education Union and head of Southend School for Boys, writes in The Times in favour of assessment reform, arguing: "It is time politicians and policy makers acknowledged the case for change and reflected this in committing to develop a new system fit for the future."
Ofqual adviser Professor Robert Coe has warned that modern foreign languages in English schools are in a "vicious circle" of decline that will only be broken through policy intervention. By John Roberts and Matilda Martin, Tes.
The Times reports students in Scotland are dropping "difficult" exams such as maths and computing in favour of "easier" subjects such as art and physical education. By Mark McLaughlin.