Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 198 total)
  • English Exams
  • Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Full Member

    Well this is turning into a grade A cluster fluff as well. Higher grades up overall (despite moderation) but some unfathomable stats at school and individual pupil level.

    BBC reporting as much

    From local reasonably well founded information it looks like the selective schools have been hit hardest with the number of higher grades significantly down from previous years, so much for it’ll be the disadvantaged who get unfair bias.

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    Private schools with biggest rise in top grades. Jolly good show old chap.

    I am really not sure how it could be done better tbh

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Whatever option they’d tried would have been a big problem. Maybe it would have been better holding socially distanced exams rather than the estimating/moderating nightmare we ended up with, although that would have prejudiced the chances of some of the kids with schools and colleges trying to teach the majority remotely.

    Luckily we were only waiting for one AS result this year, and he got the grade he was predicted. As far as I can tell all the friends expecting A level results have got what they needed to go on to what they wanted to do.

    Congratulations to all the pupils who got what they needed, and well done to all the school staff for all they gave done in this crazy year.

    Premier Icon dazh
    Full Member

    I am really not sure how it could be done better tbh

    They could have opted for the sensible option of delaying the exams and the start of the new academic year. What would have been the problem with starting the new academic year in January 21? This would have allowed GCSE and A level students to catch up and sit their exams. For a 3 month delay all this chaos and upset could have been avoided.

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    What would have been the problem with starting the new academic year in January 21?

    First and foremost if Years 11 and 13 didnt leave till Jan, we wouldnt have had enough classrooms to put the kids in or teachers to teach them.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    They could have opted for the sensible option of delaying the exams and the start of the new academic year. What would have been the problem with starting the new academic year in January 21? This would have allowed GCSE and A level students to catch up and sit their exams. For a 3 month delay all this chaos and upset could have been avoided.

    You don’t think a 3 month delay and changing the entire accademic year for all university, colleges and schools would have caused chaos and upset? What about students going to other jurisdictions? (e.g. an english student coming to scotland); or people who weren’t planning to go to accademia but were planning to get a job. Do you think that the guy who’s scraping through his GCSE’s and hates school would be pleased to be told rather than leave school in July, go and do something he has to hang on till near Christmas? Do you think he’d bother? Which may make little difference to him in 2020 but might in a few years time if he tries to move on in life. Presumably you’d delay the intake of new pupils too since there would be a ripple effect down all schools. So then the parents who expected their children to leave nursery and move to school are hit with increased costs, and nurseries are even more over subscribed (people don’t stop having babies because the exams are a mess).

    And don’t forget the excellent performing students too – the ones who were always going to get top marks, and even after moderation will still come out with As. They are forced to “hand on” waiting for the system to work out what to do with the others. Hardly seems fair either. There are no magic solutions. Moderated teacher estimates, with some mechanism to scrutinise/justify upgrades, seems as good as you will get. Its the communication of those concepts thats failed.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    First and foremost if Years 11 and 13 didnt leave till Jan, we wouldnt have had enough classrooms to put the kids in or teachers to teach them.

    I’m glad a teacher replied to that. When you have 14 school years, plus universities, all built around a September start date, a seemingly simple “move it 3 months” becomes a logistical nightmare.

    A question to display my ignorance as to how we got here – a student on the news was blaming the government for the system that was used to produce today’s grades. Was this system created and/or signed off by the government or by Ofqual, and what, if any, input did teachers and schools representatives have in the process?

    Premier Icon dazh
    Full Member

    First and foremost if Years 11 and 13 didnt leave till Jan, we wouldnt have had enough classrooms to put the kids in or teachers to teach them.

    I’d have delayed all years and started them in January. Yes there would be problems but they would be logistical and financial rather than the current cluster**** which undermines the entire system and f**** over an entire year group. It probably makes more sense to run the academic year over a calendar year in any case. Schools and universities could have used the extra 3 months to catch up and prepare for starting in January.

    Do you think that the guy who’s scraping through his GCSE’s and hates school would be pleased to be told rather than leave school in July, go and do something he has to hang on till near Christmas?

    The majority of kids sitting GCSEs go on to further education in some form. For the minority who don’t I’m sure it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possiblity to organise an early leaving option for those who want it.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Full Member

    I don’t have kids (luckily for them obvs) but I don’t see what the students really expected to be a solution to a remarkable situation.
    I can see it is heartbreaking for them though.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    I’d have delayed all years and started them in January.

    What an absolutely ridiculous idea.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    f**** over an entire year group.

    You make some valid points, but we haven’t “done over” an entire year. As I understand it, most of the predicted grades were upheld by moderation. Not all were moderated downwards, some went up. The number of top grades has apparently gone up over last year according to local TV reports at lunchtime.

    Not yet heard of any of the kids in our wider circle – kids friends, family friends, Scouts and Guide groups, sports and music groups – who haven’t got the grades that they needed to go on to do what they had planned to do. That’s unusual in a normal year

    It sounds like there have been some serious issues, and some kids have been done over and will need to look at the appeals process and maybe resit exams. The media are very much focusing on those cases. Be interesting to see where we are in a week or twos time and see how many appeals there are compared to a normal year. Then we can judge how bad the impact has been.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    From what Williamson was saying this morning, 90% of pupils received a grade no more than a grade away from their prediction.

    Which means that, on the basis of an algorithm and NO ADDITIONAL INDIVIDUAL DATA, 1 in 10 pupils were ‘adjusted’ by two grades or more from the level predicted by the professional who taught them for x number of years.

    It appears that all the algorithm does is add a weighting based on the history of the area, which basically means that if you’re a genius coming up from a school in a deprived area, you’re basically ****! Whereas if you’re an unsalvageable dunce who daddy and mummy have shelled out to get into a decent private school, happy days.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    90% of pupils or 90% of grades – I’d check what figures he’s using against reality. My lad described Williamson as being the “most punchable” person he’d ever seen when he was on the news earlier 🤣

    Bright kids at “poorer” schools do seem to be the ones most likely to miss out, which is clearly wrong. Jnr reckons his excellent GCSEs last year would have been downgraded under this system.

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Full Member

    which basically means that if you’re a genius coming up from a school in a deprived area, you’re basically ****! Whereas if you’re an unsalvageable dunce who daddy and mummy have shelled out to get into a decent private school, happy days

    Very much this.

    What we’re seeing today will likely be amplified with GCSEs next week, at least in terms of individual stories, since the numbers involved are much higher.

    That’s if Gavlar doesn’t change his mind in the meantime.

    Premier Icon oikeith
    Full Member

    “The danger is that pupils will be over-promoted into jobs that are beyond their competence”

    Is it a danger? Those going for jobs still need to pass an application process, interview and probation period.

    Where is the danger?

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Full Member

    Where is the danger?

    They end up in The Cabinet?

    Premier Icon dazh
    Full Member

    What an absolutely ridiculous idea.

    Why? It’s shifting the school year forwards by 3 months so that it aligns with the calendar year and allows students, schools and universities time to reorganise themselves in the wake of the pandemic. It’s not exactly a massively radical change.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    Any Education Secretary should be well placed able to understand the dangers of over-promoting the incompetent.

    Sadly, Gavin ‘Shut up Russia, let’s Paintball the Spanish’ Williamson, like most of his cabinet mates, is Dunning-Kruger personified.

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    I’d have delayed all years and started them in January. Yes there would be problems

    Mainly not enough places to put chairs, do you suggest we teach outside?

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Full Member

    What jobs that require a level of competence are available to school-leavers these days? I’d hazard a guess at none.

    Premier Icon dazh
    Full Member

    Mainly not enough places to put chairs, do you suggest we teach outside?

    ???

    You seem to misunderstand me. What I’m talking about is picking up where schools and universities left off when lockdown started. Run what would have been the summer term this autumn, exams just before xmas, then start the new year in January. That wouldn’t require any extra places. All it requires is delaying the new intake til January. Why would that be a massive problem?

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Full Member

    Anyone think the same DfE that ‘planned’ this year’s results system could (in three weeks) plan and oversee such a major logistical change to UK education?

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Full Member

    Because universities budgets are inextricably linked to student fee income. Push back the start by 3 months and your creating significant shortfall with no mechanism to bridge the gap and we’re talking hundreds of millions here. There’s a number of unis on the brink of financial disaster as is, that would send a number under

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Full Member

    Anyone think the same DfE that ‘planned’ this year’s results system could (in three weeks) plan and oversee such a major logistical change to UK education?

    I think the incompetence has been demonstrated more often by this lot than any machiavellian scheming conspiracy theories

    Premier Icon shooterman
    Free Member

    I can’t make head or tail of this!

    My daughter got her A level results this morning. She was awarded 100% for her English Coursework. It was sent to the Department to be re-marked as it was so high. She had one mark taken off so 99% for her coursework. A Star in mocks in January. Both English teachers predicted A star.

    She gets a B this morning. Huh? Consistent A star output and you get a B?

    She did well enough overall (ABB) to get into King’s College where she wants to go but I definitely will be asking some questions.

    Personally I wish she had been given the chance to sit exams as she’s been working like mad this year.

    Premier Icon Klunk
    Free Member

    WTAF you can’t get a A if you’ve gone to a particular school. My niece has lost her place @ the slade school of art predicted (A A B) down graded to a (B B C) her crime going to a city College. We are livid.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    Seems to be all sorts going on in Wales. The Education minister promised no student would get a grade lower than their AS level. The universities have now said that they won’t accept such a promise, so they are asking for mock results. Which many people don’t have. But now the courses are becoming full. Iv’e heard of one further maths (i.e. bright) student who was given an A by their (honest) teacher having been downgraded to a U, apparently because of curve fitting. That could only happen if some teachers were over inflating grades.

    And then the genuine cases being lumped in with the over-entitled whiners who are taking this opportunity with both hands.

    will need to look at the appeals process

    Apparently there isn’t one, at least not here.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    WTAF you can’t get a A if you’ve gone to a particular school. My niece has lost her place @ the slade school of art predicted (A A B) down graded to a (B B C) her crime going to a city College. We are livid.

    That’s outrageous. Curve fitting creates individual injustices all over the shop. Why couldn’t they just let it ride, or if a particular institution/teacher submitted predictions which seemed wildly at odds with its historical performance, examine that?

    I just don’t understand how they’ve applied it – did schools get asked to submit GCSE results so if your GCSE results were lower relatively than the predictions, you are more likely to get downgraded? They visited one college on C4 News where loads of people seem to have got downgraded, but one lass was left with her A*s and is off to Oxford. How does that work?

    Premier Icon dazh
    Full Member

    Push back the start by 3 months and your creating significant shortfall with no mechanism to bridge the gap and we’re talking hundreds of millions here.

    Hundreds of millions! Wow! However will the govt afford that? Considering they’ve just forked out something like 700bn to deal with the pandemic another few hundred million will be an excellent investment to ensure the education system survives.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Full Member

    Well it looks like the methodology is screwed. From what I can gather for small schools (which will include a lot of independants) they’ve basically awarded the grade given by the school due to lack of robust data from previous years. They’ve then used the data available for the larger schools to moderate them but taken into account a lot of higher grades have been already awarded so there’s effectively fewer As to hand out. So if you were good in a large sixth form or FE college you probably got downgraded which sounds like what happened to Klunks niece. The school I know consistently gets around 13% A*, This year it’s 6%, but then it’s a big year group school.

    Premier Icon argee
    Full Member

    Every year they complain of higher pass rates, ‘easier’ exams, etc, etc, the predictions and mock exams are all good, but nothing can replicate exam conditions and so on, a couple of my mates from school days were top of the class folk, predicted for straight As and so on, but managed to stress out during exams and ended up with Bs and Cs, same for those predicted for Bs and Cs, they went into the exam and just didn’t stress, knew the answers to that particular question set and hey presto, they had As.

    Maybe this type of event is a good way of maybe moving away from exam based pass marks, and maybe sample throughout the year to work out markings, never understood spending hundreds of hours study on one subject to be marked against a sample of 20, 30 or whatever number of questions.

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Full Member

    What ‘levelling up’ looks like…

    On a slightly more hopeful note, someone pointed out that every single disappointed or angry student today (and their parents, and their teachers) will be a voter in the next election…

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Full Member

    Maybe this type of event is a good way of maybe moving away from exam based pass marks, and maybe sample throughout the year to work out markings, never understood spending hundreds of hours study on one subject to be marked against a sample of 20, 30 or whatever number of questions.

    That would be an unlikely 180 degree volte face on this government’s consistent ideology/dogma though…

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    This’ll be the right place to ask… when do the English schools go back?

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    Well it looks like the methodology is screwed. From what I can gather for small schools (which will include a lot of independants) they’ve basically awarded the grade given by the school due to lack of robust data from previous years. They’ve then used the data available for the larger schools to moderate them but taken into account a lot of higher grades have been already awarded so there’s effectively fewer As to hand out.

    Sounds like a load of old bollocks!

    Scotroutes 1st Sept or thereabouts

    Premier Icon irc
    Free Member

    It’s a mess. Not helped by some teachers trying to game it.

    “”A rare few centres put in implausibly high judgments, including one which submitted all A* and A grades for students in two subjects, where previously there had been normal distribution.””

    Did they really think nobody would question every pupil getting an A?
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/13/teachers-accused-submitting-implausibly-high-predicted-grades/

    Premier Icon Tiboy
    Full Member

    For anyone vaguely interested in data behind some of this, attached paper makes interesting reading

    https://www.ucu.org.uk/media/8409/Predicted-grades-accuracy-and-impact-Dec-16/pdf/Predicted_grades_report_Dec2016.pdf

    Major study using UCAS data showed for 2013-15 grades were over predicted in 75% of cases!

    Huge sympathy for anyone missing out on grades for preferred uni course though, must be horrid situation to be in. Made perhaps worse by having someone other than themselves to blame and feeling powerless to affect it.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Full Member

    AA, so you got an inside track on what’s going on or you just being unpleasent and abusive for fun. It’s not my opinion, it’s what I’ve been told by people who are actually involved, and I don’t mean some random chip on their shoulder teacher.

    Premier Icon Ioneonic
    Full Member

    It’s very sad reading this and hearing about friends rather bizarre down-grades … it rather exposes the myth that we live in a meritocracy. The educational opportunity cost of this over-reliance on exam results is stark and disappointing.  Its as if the purpose of schools is to produce students in an easy to process format for universities, rather than to produce the sort of young adults we want as a nation.

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Full Member

    it’s what I’ve been told by people who are actually involved

    I think it was just a clumsy explanation of normal distribution, coupled with a slight misunderstanding of the system.

    Centres with a small cohort of any subject have had their CAGs upheld for those as their sample would have been too statistically insignificant for the ‘moderation’ process to work properly (I know…).

    All other courses/centres has their CAGs ‘moderated’ according to Ofqual’s algorithm. It’s not that high grades had been ‘used up’, just that normal distribution obviously limits them.

    This is why some centres have seen Maths grades (big cohort) drop but Further Maths grades (small cohort, but same students) upheld.

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