A Level results 2020: Students at Harlesden school ‘saved’ after government U-Turn on assessments
PUBLISHED: 17:39 17 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:55 17 August 2020
Politics students from a Harlesden school have been saved by a dramatic government U turn after all of them received downgraded marks in their A levels.
The Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College in Crownhill Road, experienced an extreme downgrading of results as a consequence of the government’s algorithm with an entire politics class taking a hit.
However on Monday (August 17) the government announced grades will now be based on teachers’ assessments rather than the controversial algorithm devised by regulator Ofqual.
It comes days after Education Secretary Gavin Williamson vowed there would be “no U-turn, no change”.
Abigail Yohannes, who got two Bs and a C instead of her predicted A*AA in politics, history and English and has spent days fearful that she lost her Ivy League university place in America, is calling for Mr Williamson to resign.
“He has shown a lack of compassion, humanity and simple ethics and he must be held accountale for his actions,” she said.
The 18-year-old attended a protest in Parliament Square at the weekend and said more protests are planned both for Mr Williamson’s resignation and the reduction of exam content for incoming A Level students who have missed so much school.
She added: “Mobilising, organising and protesting is an effective way to demand change and we must always continue to do so.
“However we need those who were responsible to be held to account and to show some humility and understand and apologise for the stress and chaos that they have caused.”
She said she was shocked when she opened her results last Thursday. “ It felt like a big slap in the face quite frankly, insulting students like me who worked very hard and my hard working teacher’s professional opinion disregarded.”
Giovanna Goulart may not have lost her place to study Law at Cambridge University.
She said: “I am so grateful myself and my friends finally got what we deserve.”
The Jack Petchey award winner was given AAB, below her three A* predictions and not enough to take her place at Newham College, Cambridge.
“I know I could have got it if it wasn’t for the algorithm,” she previously told the paper.
On hearing they wouldn’t be sitting exams in April she said “everyone burst into tears”. “We understood why it had to happen but when it was announced there was no clarification, it took a few weeks for the government to say it would be based on teacher’s assessments then a few days before the results came out they said no, it’ll be the algorithms. It’s appalling. It just shows how incompetent this government is.”
Politics teacher at CJMLC Ciara McCombe said she was “absolutely devastated” when she saw her class results. She said the marks given “were devastatingly downgraded, one student in politics had a centre assessment of a C, her mock result was a C and was given a U despite no history of a U in the course”.
On Monday she said her students “certainly have been saved! Although not spared the roller coaster of emotions and anxiety!”.
She added: “I’m so relieved by the decision to give students their teacher assessed grades.
“It is such a shame that it took so long, leaving so many students in a state of uncertainty.
“My students are already contacting their initial offers, regaining the place at the university they had worked so hard to achieve.”
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “This has been an extraordinarily difficult year for young people who were unable to take their exams. “We worked with Ofqual to construct the fairest possible model, but it is clear that the process of allocating grades has resulted in more significant inconsistencies than can be resolved through an appeals process. “We now believe it is better to offer young people and parents certainty by moving to teacher assessed grades for both A and AS level and GCSE results. “I am sorry for the distress this has caused young people and their parents but hope this announcement will now provide the certainty and reassurance they deserve.”
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