GCSE results: School trust boss says using teacher predicted grades is ‘common sense’

The Community Schools Trust chief executive Simon Elliott. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

The Community Schools Trust chief executive Simon Elliott. Picture: Ellie Hoskins - Credit: Archant

The chief executive of a trust that runs two Newham schools has said that “common sense has prevailed” with pupils receiving teacher predicted grades.

Simon Elliott, who runs The Community Schools Trust - the organisation behind Forest Gate Community School and Cumberland School - added that rejecting the opinion of those who knew pupils best risked “undermining the entire profession”.

The government did a U-turn after around 40 per cent of A-level pupils received a moderated grade lower than the one they had been predicted by their teachers - with claims that top pupils from traditionally lower-performing schools were being unfairly penalised under the computer algorithm used.

Mr Elliott said: “If my mock exams had been used to predict my final grade at A-level it is fair to say I probably would not now be the CEO of a multi-academy trust.

“Like many of the students I have taught, having previously failed my mocks, on the day of the real thing I was able to rise to the challenge.

“It is for this reason and many others I am glad common sense has prevailed and the exam board will accept the teacher predicted grades.

“It is an imperfect system but within the confines of this highly unusual set of circumstances it is by fair by fare the fairest.”

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He explained the process used to arrive at each pupil’s grade was “particularly fraught”, adding: “It was not just a simple case of assigning a grade, each student had to be ranked in order of academic ability and the grade predicted based judged against their peers.

“When you are working with young people in areas such as Newham the stakes are high.

“The consequence of students failing their exams, falling out of education can be have a detrimental impact on their lives and for society as a whole.

“For our scholarship students, it could have meant missing out on a place at a top independent sixth, for one student that would mean no place at Eton College.

“That cannot be described as a fair or just system.”