In response to the government’s assessment plan for this year, James Turner, CEO of the Sutton Trust said: 

“Any solution to the assessment issue this year was always going to be imperfect, but the government is right to have focussed on teacher assessment as the most pragmatic option, with enough flexibility to ensure students are only judged on what they have covered in a highly disrupted year. This could help with regional and school level differences in lost schooling. However, it won’t take into account differences in learning loss for individual students, an issue which is most likely to impact disadvantaged young people. 

Many teachers will be scarred by last years’ experience, so it’s crucial that the moderation process is robust enough to ensure grades between one school and another are more or less consistent. This is particularly true when looking at comparability between more affluent schools and lower income schools, who were all too often casualties of the 2020 algorithm.

And the appeals process needs to work for students so that progression to college and university is not jeopardised.  A successful appeal is of no practical use if a young person has lost their higher education place; the most important thing in all of this is not the grades the students ultimately get, but that they are able to successfully progress in education, apprenticeships or the world of work.”

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