Greens call for clear appeal system for A-Level results day

Ahead of this year’s A-Level results day, the Green Party has called for a simple, credible way for students to appeal their results – of which up to 40 per cent are expected to be downgraded, impacting the highest-achieving pupils from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds the most.

An image of a school classroom
An image of a school classroom
Lidia Creech

Up to 40 per cent of the UK’s cohort of A-Level students will receive potentially downgraded results this Thursday (13 August) for exams they never took.

 The exam results of thousands of pupils across the UK will be issued according to an algorithm that takes into account the pupil’s past exam results, the school’s recent exam history and grades submitted by teachers. 

 These calculations, which have been produced by exam regulator Ofqual, are expected to yield downgraded results for up to 40 per cent of pupils.

 Among those expected to be hit hardest by this results system are high-achieving pupils from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, owing to the system’s consideration of the school’s exam history. 

 The Green Party is calling for a clear and credible way to appeal these results, in order to avoid widening the inequality gap in schools.  

 Outlining the reasons for the Green Party’s opposition to this system, the party’s Education Spokesperson Vix Lowthian said: “Downgrading students for no fault of their own is the worst way Ofqual could have gone about this. 

 “It has been an extremely difficult summer for schools, pupils and examiners, but basing grades on schools’ past attainments will punish disadvantaged students and only widen inequalities in our society.

“This has not been a normal year and there is no point in pretending it has been. Instead, teachers should have been listened to and trusted. Teachers are the ones who know their pupils best and are most qualified to say how they would have achieved.

 “Now it looks like modelling has taken place, the government must do everything it can to ensure a clear and credible appeals process is in place that allows any student to appeal their grades.

 “The current system looks arbitrary and unclear. This is not the time to be gambling with peoples’ futures when so much is at stake, both for our young people and the country at large.”

 The Green Party’s belief that trust should be placed in teachers to assess students follows on from previous suggestions to improve the UK’s education system, which include putting an end to ‘exam factories’, abolishing private schools to make education equal and accessible to all and improving relationship and sex education.