A-levels: NewVIc principal criticises downgrading of results for 300 students

Head of Newham Sixth Form College, Mandeep Gill. Picture: NewVIc

Head of Newham Sixth Form College, Mandeep Gill. Picture: NewVIc - Credit: Archant

The principal of Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc) has said staff are “angry” after more than 300 students had their results downgraded.

With exams this summer cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, teachers were asked to submit what grade they thought each student would have received had the tests gone ahead.

But despite a high pass rate at the Prince Regent Lane college, Mandeep Gill expressed frustration that many were given grades lower than their teachers put forward for them.

He said: “I’d like to thank the staff and students for their resilience, determination and hard work during these unprecedented times which has led to some truly brilliant results.

“However, most colleges report the grades that were submitted are much lower than those that have been awarded. Here at NewVIc we have seen the same trend.

“As a college we are very angry with this situation and are working closely with the Sixth Form Colleges Association and others at a national level to challenge the government on this decision.

“Our students were set to achieve higher than what they were awarded.”

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But Dr Michelle Meadows, executive director for strategy, risk and research at Ofqual said that its analysis showed there was “no evidence of systematic bias” in the exam assessment model used this year. She said: “Outcomes for different groups, whether that be by socio-economic status, ethnicity, gender, the outcomes for these groups are very similar to those in previous years.

“There is a small effect of a greater difference between the end calculated grades and the centre assessment grades.”

Despite the concerns, the college did see 100 per cent of students achieve A*-C in computer science, French, further maths and Spanish.

More than 70pc of those taking biology, chemistry, economics, fine art, history and maths achieved a C or above.

For those taking Btecs, more than half achieved a triple distinction* - equivalent to three A grades at A-level. More than 70pc of those taking computer science achieved the top grade.