Poorer teens may get lower GCSE and A-Level grades under this year’s Covid-19 exam system, MPs warned


TEENS could end up with lower GCSE and A-Level grades under this year’s new Covid system of exam results, MPs have warned.

The Education Select Committee said they have “serious concerns” the new system is unfair.


While the appeals process favours the “well-heeled and sharp-elbowed”, they warned.

They urged the exam watchdog Ofqual to do more to stop kids in Generation Covid seeing their grades hammered because of the pandemic.

Students whose exams were scrapped because of the lockdown will be given grades based on coursework and teacher assessment.

Ofqual will then standardise them to make sure schools dish out the same proportion of A grades as in previous years.

But in a blistering report, MPs said the assessment system could lead to “inaccuracy and bias”.

It could particularly hit poor and minority kids who often do better than their predicted results, the committee said.

And they blasted the decision to only let pupils appeal their grades if they can show discrimination or bias.

Tory MP and committee chairman Robert Halfon fumed: “There is a risk it will lead to unfair bias and discrimination against already disadvantaged groups.

“And we are far from convinced that the appeal system, which will be more important than ever this year, will be fair.

“The appeals process seems to favour the well-heeled and sharp-elbowed.”

He also warned that allowing every different exam board to run their own appeals system risks creating a “Wild West” of appeals.

The committee urged Ofqual to beef up its appeals process to ensure it is “genuinely fair to all students”.

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