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UK News Belfast principal – pupils let down by calculated grades

22:15  13 august  2020
22:15  13 august  2020 Source:   msn.com

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The system used to award A-level grades this year has let pupils down , a Belfast school principal said. More than a third of results were lower than previously estimated after they were calculated using a standardisation method. Exams were cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

School principals and pupils across Northern Ireland have been left shocked and angry after over a third of estimated grades were lowered by the exams board. Around 28,000 anxious pupils received their results online this morning with 37% getting lesser grades than their teachers had estimated and

a person standing in front of a window: The system used to award A-level grades this year has let pupils down, a Belfast school principal said (Stefan Rousseau/PA). © Stefan Rousseau The system used to award A-level grades this year has let pupils down, a Belfast school principal said (Stefan Rousseau/PA).

The system used to award A-level grades this year has let pupils down, a Belfast school principal said.

More than a third of results were lower than previously estimated after they were calculated using a standardisation method.

Exams were cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

Stormont Education Minister Peter Weir said official procedures were robust and the outcome more equitable for all students.

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Proposals to increase pupil numbers in a range of Belfast schools will be brought forward in Assumption Grammar School in Ballynahinch, County Down , also plans to increase its enrolment The number of pupils transferring from primary to post-primary schools has been growing in recent

Students got a State Certificate of Calculated Grades in each leaving certificate subject. If the school has only one teacher of the subject, the ranking review will be done with the deputy principal . Leaving Certificate Calculated Grades results will be treated by the CAO (and UCAS in the UK) in the

a person holding a sign: Children in Northern Ireland received their results on Thursday (Rebecca Black/PA). © Provided by PA Media Children in Northern Ireland received their results on Thursday (Rebecca Black/PA).

Lagan College principal Amanda McNamee felt “disappointed and embarrassed”.

She said: “They are real children with real lives, they aren’t computers, they are not data, not anomalies, and I feel we have let them down.”

Northern Ireland’s exams board has said there will be some “anomalies”.

The school head told the BBC: “If I hear the word anomaly again being linked to an actual real person, a real child, I think I am going to scream.”

In 37% of cases teachers were over-optimistic in their prediction, while in around 5% of tests they underestimated the result, statistics published by the education authorities on Thursday showed.

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the areas where the most disadvantaged children are being let down by the education system in 2013 are no longer deprived inner city areas, instead the focus has shifted to deprived coastal towns and rural, less populous regions of the country, particularly down the East and South-East of England.

Students will be given their grades by the end of July, which will be based on a combination of their mock exam results, "non-exam assessment" and other data. Exam boards will give students their grades after receiving information from teachers and other data such as the pupil 's prior attainment.

Exams body CCEA (Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment) chief executive Justin Edwards defended its standardisation model for grading.

He said: “All of us at CCEA, working closely with the education community, have strived to ensure that students are able to progress this year.

“As a result of this collaborative work, we have delivered grades to students which we predict they would have achieved had they sat the examinations and which carry the same value as in previous years.

“Northern Ireland students have seen slight increases across grades, which are comparable with previous year-on-year performance for this particular year group.”

Stormont deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill said it was a difficult day for many young people.

“The situation that many students find themselves in is unacceptable.

“There needs to be an urgent resolution.”

The calculation saw pupil performance increase across all grades relative to previous years.

The overall pass rate of pupils achieving an A*-E grade rose by 0.8 of a percentage point to 99.1%.

Pupils achieving the top A* grade increased by one percentage point to 9.8%, while those achieving A* or A grades rose by 2.3 percentage points to 33.2%.

Female students again outperformed male counterparts at the highest grades, with the gap broadly in line with recent years.

The calculated system also saw performance at AS level improve on 2019.

The percentage attaining a top A grade rose by 2.1 percentage points to 29.4%.

Those attaining an A-E grade rose by 0.9 of a percentage point to 96.4%.

Data indicated that the increases in attainment would have been significantly higher if the predicted grades assessed by teachers were used without standardisation.

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Teachers are asked to predict grades every year in Northern Ireland as part of normal assessment procedures.

In 2019, around 46% of grades match the results attained by pupils and 40% proved overly-optimistic.

The CCEA standardisation model asked teachers to give a predicted grade for their pupils and then rank them in order within their class.

The exams body then used other data to standardise the results.

For A-levels, the CCEA model used pupils’ AS level results, making adjustments for those who had applied to take resits.

For AS results, the pupils’ GCSE results were used, as was the performance by their school over the previous three years.


Video: Coronavirus: How will GCSE and A Level results be worked out? (Birmingham Mail)

Boris breaks cover - on Twitter - from Scots holiday amid exams furore .
The Prime Minister has not been seen since heading to Scotland for a week's holiday on Monday in the middle of chaos over A-Level grades. He has so far resisted widespread calls for him to cut short his break to take control of the public confidence crisis from beleaguered Education Secretary Gavin Williamson. He issued a short message to GCSE students receiving results today - based on predicted grades after a 'standardisation' algorithm was abandoned amid claims it was biased against high achieving pupils from poorer backgrounds.He wrote: 'Congratulations to everyone receiving their GCSE results today.

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