7th August 2020

Ofqual bows to pressure and relaxes exam appeals criteria

The English exam regulator Ofqual has responded to fierce criticism from school leaders, MPs and parents by allowing more schools that are disappointed with this year’s GCSE and A-level results to appeal. Results have been calculated very differently this year because all school exams were cancelled due to the COVID-19
6th August 2020

MPs and school leaders slam exam grade appeals process

England’s exam watchdog Ofqual has been urged to revise its appeals system this year radically. The chorus of complaints against this year’s appeals system has arisen amid mounting concerns that the computer algorithm that Ofqual uses to moderate grades nationally will unfairly disadvantage pupils from deprived backgrounds. The Labour Party
6th August 2020

Europe’s universities seek share of massive new EU fund

A share of a huge fund from the EU to assist financial recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will be available to universities from the member states. The fund, which is close to €700bn (£632bn), has been created to help organisations and businesses rebuild their viability after the economic devastation wreaked
5th August 2020

Schools should be at heart of further COVID-19 planning

In the event of another local or national lockdown, schools should only be closed as a “last resort” and should shut their doors only after restaurants, pubs and other non-essential shops, England’s children’s commissioner Anne Longfield has declared. Longfield was critical of the government’s approach to school-aged children during the
5th August 2020

Backlash grows in Scotland over lower-than-predicted grades

A furious backlash from disappointed parents, teachers and pupils is gathering momentum in Scotland after thousands of youngsters received worse results than their teachers had predicted. The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) had lowered 125,000 school estimates of pupils’ grades, a reduction that has affected a quarter of this year’s young
4th August 2020

Scottish pupils first to receive this year’s exam-free results

All 138,000 pupils in Scotland are today (4th August 2020) receiving the results of their Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) courses, which for the first time in history will not be based on conventional end-of-school-year exams. Scottish students are the first in Britain to receive this year’s grades after an unprecedented
4th August 2020

School exam plans for 2021 “too little, too late”

The exams regulator Ofqual has published the results of its recent consultation on how next year’s GCSE and A-level exams will be assessed, but there has been a chorus of disapproval from teaching unions. The watchdog’s previous plans for exam assessments in 2021 had met with strong objections from teaching
3rd August 2020

Calls for academic freedom ombudsman as academics politically self-censor

A new study has found that British academics of both left-wing and right-wing persuasion are engaging in self-censorship to avoid punitive reprisals. The Policy Exchange think tank commissioned YouGov to conduct a poll of 820 academics in British universities – 484 were currently employed, while 336 had retired. The poll
3rd August 2020

Reopening schools in September “safe”, says minister

A senior government minister has said that reopening schools in September will be safe and remains an “absolute priority” for the government. Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Authorities, has been talking over the weekend to various sources, seeking to allay fears that the government’s
31st July 2020

Teacher training applications rocket by 65% during lockdown

Rising worries about a stuttering jobs market have driven a record surge in the number of people applying for teacher training courses in England, the higher education admissions service UCAS has revealed. Data released this week by UCAS reveals that over 21,000 graduates have signed up to take teacher training

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