South Yorkshire Mayor and Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis has today called on the Department for Education to take immediate action to support A-Level and GCSE students who risk having their futures stolen by a system that disproportionately hits schools in the most deprived communities.
Mayor Jarvis is also calling for a halt to the publication of GCSE results this week until a full technical review can take place into grade moderation.
Commenting, Dan Jarvis said:
“Last week the Government managed to turn the challenge of A-Levels results into an all-out crisis, one that is badly letting down students who have worked incredibly hard and in the most challenging of circumstances.
“As a local MP and as the Mayor, I have heard heart-breaking stories of students who have worked their hardest throughout the Coronavirus crisis but are now missing university places and apprenticeship offers through no fault of their own. A system that downgrades 40% of students’ results – with a disproportionate impact on students in our most deprived communities – is simply not fit for purpose. Where you grow up should not determine where you end up.
“Whilst I welcome the announcement by the Secretary of State that the Government will cover the cost of appeals, they must go further: which is why I am calling on the Government to go back to the drawing board and use Centre Assessed Grades for this academic year.
“What is more, we are facing the very real possibility that last week’s chaos will be repeated on Thursday when GCSE results are out. To put students, parents and teachers – who would be worried and anxious at the best of times – through this additional pressure is simply unacceptable. The Government must delay the announcement of GCSE results this week pending a full, technical review of grade moderation.
“This Government was elected on a commitment to ‘level up’ communities in the North. Instead, their shambolic handling of this year’s grades is letting down our students, our teachers and our communities. The Government need to do the right thing, and they need to do it now.”