Parents are already reaching out to attorneys ahead of this year’s anticipated A-rankings

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Parents are already reaching out to attorneys preparing to file a lawsuit ahead of this year’s expected A rank

  • Now that exams have been canceled, teachers are reviewing grades, leading to concerns about bias
  • Lawyers say parents have already contacted them to discuss appeals
  • Last year, an algorithm lowered the results of hundreds of thousands of students
  • This summer’s A-level results are scheduled for August 10

Parents of students waiting for teacher-rated A-level results have already started contacting lawyers before an expected fight was expected.

Now that exams have been canceled due to the coronavirus, teachers are reviewing grades, causing some parents to worry about bias or that special educational needs or disabilities will be adequately taken into account, the observer reported.

The unease follows the scrapping of an algorithm-based determination that caused chaos last year and caused teachers, unions, parents and students to anticipate more problems this summer.

The results are expected on August 10, but lawyers like education specialist Amara Ahmad at Doyle Clayton are already receiving questions to challenge them.

“People now want to prepare for a profession,” she told The Observer. “Some are in the dark about the grades their child has achieved throughout the school year or what evidence the teacher grades will be based on.”

Parents of students waiting for teacher-rated A-level results have already started contacting lawyers before an expected fight was expected.  Pictured: Emily Wallace (center) smiles when students at Norwich School in Norfolk received their A-level results last summer [File photo]

Parents of students waiting for teacher-rated A-level results have already started contacting lawyers before an expected fight was expected. Pictured: Emily Wallace (center) smiles when students at Norwich School in Norfolk received their A-level results last summer [File photo]

Many in education have been frustrated at the time it took ministers to develop ways to ensure a fair comparison of students between schools – something they have been asking for for months.

‘My concern is that teachers are just being abandoned by a secretary of state who created this situation and then walk away and say,’ teachers clearly cannot assess students, ‘Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, told the observer .

Confusion remains as to how the appeals process will work, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told the paper.

‘We really didn’t have to be here. Teachers, parents, students still don’t know what the appeal process will look like. We tried to help the government come to the fore. Here we are again on the back foot. ‘

Now that exams have been canceled due to the coronavirus, teachers are reviewing grades, causing some parents to worry about bias or whether special educational needs or disabilities will be adequately taken into account, the observer reported.  Pictured: Sophie Lofthouse (left) and Hannah Walton-Hughes respond as students at The Mount School in York delivered their results last summer [File photo]

Now that exams have been canceled due to the coronavirus, teachers are reviewing grades, causing some parents to worry about bias or whether special educational needs or disabilities will be adequately taken into account, the observer reported.  Pictured: Sophie Lofthouse (left) and Hannah Walton-Hughes respond as students at The Mount School in York delivered their results last summer [File photo]

Now that exams have been canceled due to the coronavirus, teachers are reviewing grades, causing some parents to worry about bias or whether special educational needs or disabilities will be adequately taken into account, the observer reported. Pictured: Sophie Lofthouse (left) and Hannah Walton-Hughes respond as students at The Mount School in York delivered their results last summer [File photo]

Last year, A-level students were in limbo as their teachers rushed to appeal tens of thousands of “ unfair ” degraded results released just weeks before the university application deadline.

A chaotic race for places ensued after 280,000 results were relegated despite record-high results. Some parents and lawyers are still fighting to change the 2020 results.

Exam regulator Ofqual has turned down appeals even in cases where the school has agreed that the results should not have been lowered.

‘In my experience, parents have no power. There are a lot of parents who are really concerned about this year’s system, but they are too scared to speak up in case they make things worse for their kids. For parents who are still fighting against last year’s grades, it has now become a full-time job, ” Catherine Brioche, a mom and member of the A-level Grading Issues Support Group, told The Observer.

Many in education have been frustrated at the time it took ministers to develop ways to ensure a fair comparison of students between schools - something they have been asking for for months.  Pictured: Newham Collegiate Sixth Form students respond when they got their A-Level grades in East London last year [File photo]

Many in education have been frustrated at the time it took ministers to develop ways to ensure a fair comparison of students between schools - something they have been asking for for months.  Pictured: Newham Collegiate Sixth Form students respond when they got their A-Level grades in East London last year [File photo]

Many in education have been frustrated at the time it took ministers to develop ways to ensure a fair comparison of students between schools – something they have been asking for for months. Pictured: Newham Collegiate Sixth Form students respond when they got their A-Level grades in East London last year [File photo]

While students unhappy with their grades may appeal this year, lawyer Ahmad said parents are concerned that Ofqual has ordered schools to appeal their own grades.

‘This is the school that does their own homework. And I’m not clear what happens if the school says no to an appeal, ”she told The Observer.

Ofqual has indicated that schools are obliged to submit a notice of appeal to the relevant Examination Board if a student so requests.

A spokesperson told The Observer that his analysis of last year’s figures found “no evidence of systematic bias towards disabled students, other protected characteristics, or people from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

He added that Ofqual has updated guidelines for teachers this year to avoid bias.

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